Five years after it was launched, the capital fundraising campaign at the University of Baltimore not only hit its $40 million goal, but exceeded it by another $5 million.
The campaign, called “Uniquely UB: The Campaign for the University of Baltimore,” wrapped up on Dec. 31, but the final results were not released until Tuesday after the donations were verified. The $45 million raised will go toward retaining and attracting faculty, providing scholarships and capital improvements including a new, state-of-the-art law school building.
“I can’t speculate about what it would have been like if times had been better,” University of Baltimore President Robert L. Bogomolny said. “But, it’s remarkable that even in bad times people still want to support our university.”
Bogomolny said that about six months out from the deadline, the university was about $1 million short of the goal. He said a major push at the tail end of the year hit the goal, and encouraged them to see how far above it they could get.
Chairman of the campaign, Vernon H.C. Wright, a 1969 graduate of the school and former chief financial officer of MBNA America Corp., said that 30 percent of the money donated in the campaign came from first-time donors. Ultimately, the school received about 11,000 separate donations to hit the $45 million mark.
“It shows that when push came to shove, our alumni and friends really came through,” Wright said. “I think it’s really recognition of the job the university is doing.”
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the campaign is the currently under-construction John and Frances Angelos Law Center, a 190,000-square-foot, 12-story building that will house the University of Baltimore School of Law. To receive matching state funds, the project needed $15 million from the school, which was covered by donors to the campaign who earmarked $15 million for the facility. The lion’s share of $10 million came from attorney Peter G. Angelos in honor of his parents, whose names the law center will continue to bear.
The school is slated to be completed at the end of 2012 or early in 2013, with limited use to begin in the summer of 2013. The project’s budget is $107 million, but will come in an estimated $5 million higher after the school opted to add in upgrades to make the building more environmentally friendly. Wright said the enhancements were a choice, not cost overruns, and that the state’s contribution remains unchanged.
“The unique thing about this is that it is on budget for the state’s portion of the project,” Wright said. “The university made a decision to make some enhancements to make the building more environmentally responsible.”