The annual Honored Alumni Ceremony is always a highlight event for the UNC Alumni Association, but 2017 offered alumni a special reason to celebrate – the launch of the Campaign for UNC.
On March 25th university leadership joined the alumni association in recognizing four distinguished alumni and one honorary alumnus during the spring Honored Alumni Ceremony.
Tribute videos played for each honoree, earning standing ovations and at times tears of pride. A blue grass band hit the right notes for attendees providing upbeat entertainment and a representation of the School of Music’s new Folk and Blue Grass program. Virtual reality goggles invited guests to explore the new Campus Commons – even a chance to stand (virtually) on the facility’s new 600-seat performance hall stage. It was a fun filled evening, topped off by the $45 million Campaign for UNC announcement.
"The Campaign for UNC is our public charge to boldly support our university's uniqueness and advance its longstanding mission to provide accessible, affordable, transformative education at the highest level," said UNC President Kay Norton.
Norton and Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Wayne Webster introduced the campaign along with the unveiling of the campaign video and $45 million banner goal for attendees.
Campaign priorities for support were selected through a review and feedback process undertaken by college deans and university leadership and represent UNC's historic focus on students, top quality education and research.
Campaign priorities include support to: Scholarships, Faculty Development, Research, Program Support and Campus Commons.
"We believe these priorities reflect both the diversity of UNC's needs and experiences, but also enable us to ensure and enhance excellence, access and affordability," said Webster.
Along with raising $45 million, campaign leadership set a goal of engaging 10 percent of the university's alumni population in giving, volunteerism and program participation. This amounts to engaging more than 13,000 alumni in the university campaign and in support of programs like admissions, Center for Career Readiness and the arts.
For the alumni association the engagement goal is a open call for Bears of all generations to connect, engage and contribute back to their alma mater.