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Campaign aims to raise $100 million

Fundraising effort targets alumni and friends of the university.

A $100 million fundraising effort to increase financial aid and university endowment is being kicked off this fall as part of a campaign developed through the Office of Institutional Advancement and the Board of Trustees.

The unnamed fundraiser, which was announced along with the freeze in base tuition on June 28, calls for a five-year marketing campaign that will reach out to alumni and friends of the university to raise money for student scholarships.

“Rising student debt is one of the major issues facing this nation today. Temple is committed to being a national leader in the effort to offer an affordable quality education,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick O’Connor in the press release announcing the campaign. “This is going to be an all-out effort. We are going to ask everyone who cares about the university to step up and take action. We need them to invest in our students.”

Development on the campaign was started by Institutional Advancement during the last fiscal year, and was proposed to the Board of Trustees in the spring with the help of the Office of Marketing within Enrollment Management. The campaign officially launched July 1, David Unruh, senior vice president of institutional advancement, said.

The campaign comes after the university cut $113 million from the budget within the last three years, according to the June press release. The appropriations budget is currently at $139.9 million for the 2012-13 academic year.

The university plans on spending $50 million of the money that’s raised in the coming years directly toward student financial aid and scholarships, Unruh said. The remaining $50 million will be placed into the university’s endowment.

The university’s endowment garners an additional 4.5 percent annual interest, which is invested into a variety of programs such as faculty support and financial aid. Interests exceeding the 4.5 percent amount are placed back into the endowment to create growth. The university’s endowment as of June 30, lies at $262 million, Unruh said.

This number is signifigantly smaller than two other state-related schools in Pennsylvania. Penn State boasts an endoiwment of $1.83 billion. The Univeristy of Pittsburgh leads the commonwealth with an endowment of $2.54 billion, according to official reports from both universities.

The campaigning includes  a series of videos featuring Bill Cosby, an alumnus and former fullback on the football team, which will be advertised through social media.

Cosby is also a member of the Board of Trustees who, Unruh said, “proactively called President Englert and [Board of Trustees Chairman] Patrick O’Connor pledging his support [of the campaign].”

“Our immediate plan calls for us to use Dr. Cosby’s videos widely…we will be using them through social media and through e-mails to alumni,” said Unruh, who also stated there were no plans to feature Cosby on public advertisements such as billboards or television ads.

The financial aid fundraiser coincides with the beginning of the Temple Made campaign, a separate marketing effort “that is about the university in a more broadly defined way,” Unruh said, “creating a more recognizable brand…students can come and be ‘Temple made.’”

Both campaigns also enter at a time when Temple prepares to move into the Big East Conference.

“It turned out to be a wonderful coincidence,” said Unruh, who noted that the change in conferences brings Temple into competition with other institutions that are leaders in academics and research.

In addition to the campaign, the university added $8 million to the university financial aid budget for the 2012–13 academic year, bringing the total allocation to $90 million, according to an Aug. 29 press release.

John Moritz can be reached at john.moritz@temple.edu or on Twitter @JCMoritzTU. 

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