BY VALERIE ZALESKI, Guest Writer
Since September 28, 1959, the University of Michigan- Dearborn has been educating students to make a difference in the world. Every day since, the university has been creating victors who will be able to give back to the institution to help shape the success for future students.
In 2013, the University of Michigan announced the fundraising campaign known as the Victors for Michigan Campaign to raise $4 billion between the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses as well as the UM health system and other units.
Currently, the largest campaign in UM-Dearborn’s history is in its early stage, which is also known as the quiet stage, because it has yet to be publically announced. As of Friday, Oct. 24, the nucleus funds in the campaign totaled $23.8 million. The goal is to receive $50 million from donors, who are being referred to as victors.
So what exactly does UM-Dearborn plan to do with the $50 million from the campaign? Well, there are four priorities that it will focus on. As stated in the latest press release on Oct. 24, the victors’ donations will expand student access to the academic excellence and career preparedness that a UM-Dearborn degree provides, develop new programs and interdisciplinary opportunities that enhance learning and equip students to succeed in today’s global economy, create innovative environments for learning, research, study, collaboration, and research, and attract and retain top educators and researchers, and support them as they explore new ways to challenge and inspire students to achieve their full potential.
Throughout the time of the Victors for Michigan Campaign, the UM-Dearborn campus will be hosting various events to target specific audiences to display students and faculty in hopes of perking the interest of new donors.
To kick things off, alumni, businesses, faculty/staff, students, and leaders from around the community convened for a night of celebration on Oct. 24 from 5:30-10:00pm.
Inside the Fieldhouse included activities, such as rock climbing, life-size Jenga, dodgeball, arts and crafts, free food, and an alumni hockey game. As for outside of the Fieldhouse, a stage was set up for the MHealthy Culinary Demo, singer Max Lencl, Dearborn Big Band, Beatnik Poetry, DJ Aaron Buckley, and student bands About Falling and All Systems Go. There were also cider and donuts inside tent next to two food trucks serving hot dogs and mac and cheese.
Besides the entertainment activities, CASL had organizations set up at tables to showcase their work. Also down in the IAVS building, the celebration continued with the attendees learning what the university has planned for students and information concerning the campaign. Additionally, student speakers spoke on behalf of their campus involvement to connect with and also inspire donations from victors.
The Victors for Michigan Campaign is expected to conclude sometime between 2018 and 2019. Until then, all donations will contribute to the campaign to improve the educational programs provided at UM-Dearborn to continue shaping the next generation of victors, which is you.
After all, just like UM-Dearborn is asking victors to invest in you and your educational success now, in years to come you will be asked to step up to be a victor for those students’ education, so they have the ability to follow in your footsteps and continue shaping the world.