Since 2006, Michigan Tech has been working to raise $200 million for their largest capital campaign in history, Generations of Discovery, to fit in with the universityâ??s strategic plan for becoming a nationally recognized research university.
After seven years of connecting with alumni, the announcement was made that $215,366,353 was raised through more than 28,000 donations that will come in over the next 10 to 25 years.
â??Every organization, every university, every organization really needs to kind of continually reinvigorate itself and reinvent itself, and this provided the funds to allow Michigan Tech to do that,â?? said capital campaign chairman Dave House.
Becoming a top ranking research university meant bolstering the graduate student program, recruiting highly qualified faculty, and having money to support their research. The money is also going toward scholarships and revitalization of campus facilities.
â??Itâ??s that relationship, when people realize that they got a good education from Michigan Tech, that allowed them to do things in the lives that they perhaps couldnâ??t have done any other way; thatâ??s when people really volunteer, in a sense, to give both their time and their treasures, in many cases,â?? said Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz.
But raising over $200 million came with its challenges.
â??The challenge, of course, was the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009; thatâ??s kind of where we still have remnants of with us today,â?? House explained. â??Beyond that I think the biggest challenge is just in finding the alumni and informing the alumni, educating the alumni because once the alumni see what weâ??re doing, they want to give.â??
Michigan Tech has been able to endow 15 new chairs and professorships through the campaign, and university officials believe the best is yet to come.
â??It allows us to make some educated bets on things that might be a little bit riskier that we wouldnâ??t do otherwise,â?? Mroz said. â??Itâ??s being able to take those risks and to leverage, not only our own resources, but the resources that we get from other people to do some pretty great things.â??