The University of North Florida is throwing itself a big party tonight to celebrate the success of a 4-year long fundraising campaign that exceeded its goal by $20 million.
The goal of UNF’s Power of Transformation fundraiser was to raise $110 million by the end of 2012. University President John Delaney says it was a gamble.
"We announced in 2009 that we were going to kick off a capital campaign and we debated - because that was in the throes of the recession - whether or not we should go forward with it."
As it turns out, that gamble paid off in spades.
"We hit over $130 million," Delaney continues, "which really points to the fact that this community wants to support the university."
Delaney says a big part of the money will be used for merit and need-based scholarships. It will also be used for what the school calls TLO's: Transformational Learning Opportunities.
"Often the things that change the life aren't in the classroom," he says. "It's study abroad. It's doing research with a faculty member as an undergrad. It's an artistic performance. It's performing in China or New York City as a singer or a musician. And those are the things that really make a big difference, and so we got a lot of support for that from donors as well."
According to Delaney, more than 27,000 people donated to UNF during the fundraising campaign. 25 of those donations were for $1 million or more.
The university's current enrollment is around 17,000 students.