Cameron University Foundation surpasses goal of successful “Rise to the Challenge” campaign

The Cameron University Foundation’s Rise to the Challenge campaign, which sought to receive 300 gifts in a 30 day period in order to receive a $30,000 donation from an anonymous supporter, has raised $207,879, generating 449 gifts from November 16 through December 14. The original goal of 300 gifts was reached just 17 days into the campaign.

“The response to this challenge has been phenomenal,” says Albert Johnson, Jr., Vice President for University Advancement. “To far exceed our goal of 300 gifts is evidence of southwest Oklahoma’s support of Cameron University and its mission. Given the state’s budget forecasts for the next fiscal year, these gifts will enable Cameron University to continue its commitment to student learning and degree completion.”

Gifts range from $5 to $25,000 and will be used to support three critical Cameron initiatives: installation of science labs at CU-Duncan, the new Cameron Psychology Clinic which is slated to open during the spring 2016 semester, and student scholarships. Donors also had the option to earmark gifts for the academic department of their choice or make an unrestricted gift that allows the university to utilize funds where they are most needed.

Of the gifts received, 42 percent were unrestricted gifts to the Cameron University Foundation, four percent were earmarked for the science labs at CU-Duncan, 10 percent are to be utilized for the Cameron Psychology Clinic, and 11 percent will go toward student scholarships. The remaining 33 percent are intended to benefit specific academic departments.

Wanting to support the campaign and motivate others to invest in Cameron University, the Terry Bell Charitable Trust presented a $20,000 gift as the 300th gift mid-way through the campaign. Other major donors include Cameron President Emeritus Don Davis, whose $25,000 gift will be used to establish the Davis Family Endowed Lectureship in Communication; the Leigh H. and Sally Holmes Charitable Trust, which contributed a gift of $10,000 to establish an endowment for the Leigh Holmes Creative Non-Fiction Award; the Fannie Elise Smith Foundation which contributed $5,000 for scholarships; and Southwestern Medical Center which contributed $5,000 to the campaign.

Supporters from Oklahoma made 78 percent of the gifts but donations were received from Cameron alumni in 27 states across the nation.

“The support from Cameron alumni who live outside of Oklahoma is significant,” says Johnson. “I believe it speaks to the lasting impression that a Cameron University education has on our graduates, regardless of where they live.”

Gifts also came from Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

“On behalf of the students of Cameron University and the Board of Directors of the Cameron University Foundation, I want to thank each of the donors who made this challenge campaign a success,” says Johnson." 

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December 16, 2015

PR# 15-201