Fundraising reaches goal of $50 million

Eastern Michigan University celebrated the completion of its six-year goal last Thursday night.

“$55 million so far,” President Susan Martin said. “And we still have until June 30th.”

The Invest, Inspire Campaign began in July 2006 with a goal of raising $50 million by this June. Martin said that a university as large as EMU would normally do a $100 million campaign, but that EMU had done very little fundraising for a long time, so $50 million seemed much more realistic for a first campaign.

“We’ve never asked for money,” Martin said.

According to EMU Vice President of Advancement, Tom Stevick, 11,000 donors made their first gift during this campaign and 1,400 donors were faculty and staff. Furthermore, he said the campaign has established 104 new endowments.

Stevick stressed the importance of the students, faculty and staff who volunteered to help
achieve the campaign goal. He specifically mentioned WEMU for raising $3.2 million during the campaign.

“EMU Foundation staff has been blessed with a history of strong volunteer leadership,” Stevick said. “We’ve had faculty, staff and volunteer help from all corners of the university.”

EMU Regent Roy Wilbanks addressed the crowded Student Center Ballroom and thanked everyone for their contributions.

“Everyone in this room can say, ‘I left Eastern Michigan University in a better place than I found it,’ “ he said. “At the end of the day, if you have any doubt about what you’re doing, I encourage you to go to commencement next week.”

Martin said she hopes that this successful campaign is the beginning of a robust future of fundraising at EMU.

“We hope to move forward to create a fundraising momentum based on love for Eastern that will build a $100 million endowment that will stabilize Eastern throughout the century,” she said.

Joe Fitzsimmons, husband of Regent Beth Fitzsimmons, said he was “very impressed” by the campaign and by Martin’s “terrific” leadership at EMU.

“Things are going up,” Fitzsimmons said. “Money’s flowing, kids are excited and they’re out from under the shadow of U of M.”

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