UCA shatters fundraising records

The University of Central Arkansas set multiple fundraising records in 2018-19, with a $30,051,844 fundraising year and $1,478,259 in private scholarships awarded.

This represents a 193 percent increase over last year’s total giving, setting an all-time record for private dollars raised in a single year. Scholarship dollars awarded increased by more than 20 percent, with 771 students receiving private scholarships, up from 690 the previous year.

“I am thrilled that we continue to raise more and more private funds for university support and specifically, for student scholarships,” said UCA President Houston Davis. “The generosity of our donors ensures our students — many of whom are first-generation college students — have the resources they need to earn life-changing college degrees and impact economic and cultural growth in Arkansas and beyond.”

Additionally, the university added more than 1,800 new donors and experienced a 78 percent increase in major gifts.

“Securing 114 major gifts doesn’t happen by accident. That reflects the hard work of a dedicated team of professionals who love UCA,” said Dr. T. Kale Gober, vice president for University Advancement and president of the UCA Foundation. “This level of giving is a testament to our incredible donors. They see the trajectory and feel the excitement under Houston Davis’ leadership, so they are investing with confidence and enthusiasm.”

The UCA Foundation was also awarded the largest gift in the history of the university — a $20 million challenge gift from the Windgate Foundation in support of the arts. A total of $19 million will support the construction of the Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts and the other $1 million will be added to the Windgate Scholarship Fund.

Providing much-needed classroom, studio, rehearsal and design spaces, the facility will foster collaborative partnerships for students and faculty across multiple academic disciplines.

Additional milestones reached include raising more than $757,000 on the university’s Fifth Annual Day of Giving in March, a 74 percent increase from 2017-18, and $719,000 raised in private scholarship support at UCA’s debut Laurels & Stripes fundraising gala.

The Nathan and Jessica Brown Family Scholarship Fund is one of many endowments realized through the premier event. The fund, established with a $25,000 gift from head football coach Nathan Brown and his wife, Jessica, supports student-athletes competing on the UCA football team, with preference given to students majoring in business.

“Jessica and I are thrilled to give back to our alma mater that has given so much to us,” said Brown. “Working daily with our student-athletes, I see their extraordinary work ethic, and I’m confident that scholarship support is a worthy investment in their future and ours.”

“These new fundraising milestones show the tremendous support our alumni, donors and friends have for UCA,” said Davis. “Their steadfast engagement will continue to transform our university and our communities for generations to come.”

The UCA Foundation’s net assets are $53,754,909 and the current total endowment level is $29,078,210. The foundation has 210 fully endowed scholarships and has awarded more than $12 million in scholarship support since its inception in 1981.