UCM Foundation launches Fund for Excellence

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – Some 35,000 phones will soon start ringing as the UCM Foundation’s Mule Call prepares for a new academic year. When the fall phonathan kicks off Sept. 4, some 40 dedicated students from the University of Central Missouri will connect with alumni five nights a week through mid-November.

The students will be calling alumni from the center’s newly renovated space in the Humphreys Building. They will be sharing information about the Fund for Excellence. This new name reflects a change in direction in fundraising priorities for what was previously the Central Annual Fund. The Fund for Excellence will use 100% of all unrestricted gifts contributed by donors to enhance UCM’s academic environment through scholarships, student-centered programming and engagement.

“We’re really excited to start telling our alumni about the Fund for Excellence,” said Scott Alvested, director of annual giving programs. “Our annual fund is the oldest organized fundraising drive on our campus, having been started by UCM alumnus and legendary Missouri Secretary of State James Kirkpatrick, for whom our library is named. The Fund for Excellence puts the emphasis on how our alumni can directly impact students’ lives and their educational experience.”

The effort of student callers is one reason why the UCM Foundation raised more than $4 million this past fiscal year. Of the $4.1 million raised, $162,587 was for capital projects, $1,655,218 was added to endowments, $249,923 was unrestricted and more than $2 million was designated for specific funds. Gifts were contributed by more than 7,800 alumni and friends.

“The overwhelming support and generosity of alumni and friends allowed the UCM Foundation to once again achieve its fundraising goals. Without the focused investments of our outstanding donors, support to our students and campus programs would not be possible,” said Jason Drummond, vice president for development and executive director of the UCM Foundation.

The Fund for Excellence will mean more scholarship dollars for students. After applications for foundation scholarships exceeded available funds by 80 percent this past spring, the Foundation Board of Directors voted to designate a minimum of $200,000 in unrestricted gifts contributed to the Fund for Excellence toward additional scholarships in FY 13.

“As a board, we know that our students’ needs for financial help exceeds the resources available,” said Jesse West, president of the UCM Foundation Board of Directors. “We want to do what we can to help.”