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Campus Currents

UNH's Next Horizon Campaign

Halfway to the Next Horizon:
A Campaign Milestone

By Kim Billings '81

It could have been just another Tuesday afternoon if there hadn't been a knock on Young Dawkins' door. It was his chief financial officer, Kim Roundy. He handed the president of the University of New Hampshire Foundation a piece of paper.

Dawkins looked up, grinning from ear to ear. "I didn't expect this so soon," he said. The Next Horizon: The Campaign for the University of New Hampshire had, on April 4, 2000, reached the halfway mark. More than $50 million had been contributed to the most ambitious capital campaign in UNH's history, the most ambitious public campaign in the history of the state of New Hampshire.

"Reaching the halfway mark of $50 million is a tremendous milestone in this campaign. It gives us energy for all the work in the months to come," says UNH President Joan Leitzel. "This five-year campaign is still very young and we need everyone's help, but the momentum has been outstanding."

Dawkins and major gift officers are traveling around the country meeting with potential donors, reminding them how the University is worth their investment. "It's not just about having your name on a building, or on a room, or on an endowed chair in the space sciences," Dawkins says. "It's about the future of public education in New Hampshire and what it can mean for the next generations of scholars and learners."

And, he adds, it takes all kinds of gifts. "They all count," he emphasizes. He ticks some off on his fingers: a $10 million gift to fund UNH's marine sciences; gifts from New Hampshire-based foundations that will help to create a new UNH-Manchester library in the old Amoskeag Mills; a gift from a young alumni couple to the Whittemore School of Business and Economics in honor of their marriage; and corporate support, such as a recent $175,000 gift from Simplex Technologies, to support the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping.

"What was the Simplex connection beyond a good business decision?" Dawkins asks. "The president of the company, William Jackson, earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from the Whittemore School in 1975." "Friends and alumni have an opportunity to have a profound impact on this University at a critical time in its history," Leitzel says.

And it is critical: while UNH is ranked last in the nation for public funding of higher education, it also attracts world-class scholars to teach and conduct research. New Hampshire is one of the wealthiest states in per capita income, yet ranks near the bottom in charitable giving.

As news reaches different corners of campus on the achievement of $50.4 million, there is one clear overwhelming feeling: The Next Horizon is within sight.

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