MISSOULA –

Today, UM announces the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the University’s history: Campaign Montana – Think Big. Be Bold.

This comprehensive, seven-year fundraising campaign aims to inspire $400 million in philanthropic giving by the end of 2020. Donors will help achieve UM President Seth Bodnar’s vision of a UM that puts student success at the forefront, driving excellence and innovation in teaching, research and learning.

Donors already have gifted and pledged $325 million for Campaign Montana. Gifts received since July 1, 2013, have been counted toward the campaign goal.

“Our ambitious goal reflects the passion our alumni and friends have for UM, our students and Montana,” Bodnar said.

Students, faculty and programs at every college and school on campus will benefit from private support. Priorities include scholarships, career development and advising, endowed faculty positions, interdisciplinary programs like the Neural Injury Center, and facility upgrades like the newly renovated Dennis and Gretchen Eck Hall.

“Now is the time for big thoughts and bold actions from our collective community,” said Bodnar. “UM is at an important juncture as we build upon our tremendous strengths and pursue new and promising directions.”

UM alumni Mark and Cheryl Burnham are serving as co-chairs of the Campaign Montana public phase. Mark graduated from the College of Business with a degree in accounting and finance, while Cheryl is a graduate of UM’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy. Between them they have more than a dozen family members who are alums or associates of UM.

“History has shown that UM is a place where donors can make an incredible difference,” Cheryl Burnham said.

“The impact we’ve seen in the last five years alone is remarkable,” adds Mark Burnham. “The opportunity to support students and elevate the lives of Montanans is what has inspired us to personally invest in UM.”

Since 2013, donors have created 15 new endowed faculty positions, helped renovate or construct five facilities, and given $100 million for scholarships and other student support. During its five-year quiet phase, the campaign has inspired donations to all colleges and schools – as well as Grizzly Athletics, the Flathead Lake Biological Station and other programs – elevating giving to record levels. Last fiscal year alone, private support totaled $64 million, and the University of Montana Foundation distributed $41.7 million to campus for programs, scholarships and facilities.

UM’s last fundraising campaign, Invest in Discovery, raised $131 million. That and previous campaigns helped fuel scholarships, grow distinctive programs like Wildlife Biology, build the library’s collection and construct facilities, including the Davidson Honors College Building, the Gallagher Business Building, The Payne Family Native American Center, the Phyllis J. Washington Education Center and the Law Building.

The campaign is managed by the University of Montana Foundation, an independent, nonprofit organization that inspires philanthropic support to enhance excellence and opportunity at UM.

Visit www.campaignmontana.org to learn more.