The University of Central Arkansas has sailed past its initial goal of $6.5 million in fundraising, setting a new record.
Vice President for University Advancement Kale Gober told the Log Cabin Democrat that their goal was originally that $6.5 million but surpassed that by the mid-year point and ultimately reset their sights on hitting $10 million.
“That was exciting,” he said.
In total, UCA raised $10,252,463 from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, going beyond both of those initial goals.
UCA President Houston Davis said that amount was significant for many reasons.
“First of all, it’s the most UCA has raised in a single year,” he said.
In addition, Davis said, no gift was more than $1 million — they had four of those.
Gober said on that note, that’s the most seven figure gifts UCA has received in a single year but even if they took half of that away, they still would have set a record.
“We have a true pyramid of a wide-base where we have a lot of people investing in UCA,” Gober said.
As of right now, he said, their goal for next year is $8.75 million but will be disappointed if they don’t meet $10 million since they’ve already done that.
“You never want to go backward,” Gober said.
As for where the money will go, he told the LCD that most of the gifts will go toward endowed scholarships and supporting the students.
“That’s the most important thing we do,” Gober said. “Our product walks and lives and breathes.”
Davis said a scholarship can most literally be the difference between a student enrolling and coming to UCA and not attending college.
“It makes us very pleased to be able to serve more students with those scholarships,” he said.
Davis said often times, that support can be what encourages the students to keep going and get that degree; he said they hear those types of stories all the time.
Gober said this year alone, they were able to give away $1 million back to the students.
“The ten million is wonderful but the most rewarding was that that was put directly into the pockets of students to help pay for their education,” he said.
A big part of that overall total was the UCA Day of Giving in March.
According to a news release, the university’s goal for the 24-hour fundraising event was $50,000 but ended up raising $434,526.
Gober said UCA and its donors “outdid” themselves that day.
“It was a huge boost,” he said.