UNI reaches Our Tomorrow goal early, raises goal to $300M

UNI reaches Our Tomorrow goal early, raises goal to $300M

Increase of fundraising goal thanks to donor support

A bolder, brighter tomorrow

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Two and a half years ahead of the scheduled completion of Our Tomorrow: The Campaign for UNI, the University of Northern Iowa Foundation has surpassed its $250 million fundraising goal and is laying out a bolder goal for the future. The UNI Foundation has identified a stretch goal of $300 million by 2026 to fund campus priorities.

“The success of the Our Tomorrow campaign is thanks to the more than 28,000 alumni and friends who have stepped up to support UNI,” said UNI President Mark Nook. “The impact the Panther family has had on our university is profound. We already see those impacts touching every facet of campus and it's inspiring.”

The campaign has seen historic contributions for students, programs, faculty, staff and the spaces that define the UNI experience:

  • $67.5 million has been raised for scholarships, including the addition of 424 new donor-funded scholarships.
  • $89 million for academic programs and faculty is providing resources to expand learning and support faculty in their teaching, research and service.
  • $33 million in capital support has provided significant upgrades to UNI’s iconic spaces including the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, the UNI Campanile and the UNI-Dome.
  • $37.5 million has been raised for Athletics facilities and programs.
  • A $25 million gift to support faculty, strategic initiatives and scholarships culminated in the first named college at UNI – the David W. Wilson College of Business.
  • 253 new endowments have been established.
  • Six new and expanded programs including gerontology, data science, communication sciences and disorders, nursing, applied engineering and UNI@IACC have had significant investments.

The quiet phase of the Our Tomorrow campaign began in 2018, followed by a public launch in the fall of 2022. In that time, donors have come from all 50 states and 17 countries. Forty percent are first-time donors to UNI. The median gift to the campaign is $100. 

“The overwhelming support has challenged us to dig deeper and to envision what students will need from UNI 10, 20 and 50 years from now,” said Nook. “We have more to accomplish before we celebrate our sesquicentennial in 2026.”

“Raising the campaign goal became a necessary step toward a bolder future for the university as new needs have arisen,” said Jim Jermier, vice president for university advancement and president of the UNI Foundation. “In the remaining two and a half years of the Our Tomorrow campaign, we invite our alumni and friends to rally around priorities that will help us build the tomorrow UNI needs.”

The campaign is organized around four pillars supporting students, faculty and staff, academic programs and learning spaces. Goals for each of these pillars are expanding with the new goal of $300 million. 

Student Access and Success

  • Raise $75 million in scholarship support.
  • Raise $1.5 million for immediate student needs including the Student Emergency Fund, Panther Pantry and Panther Completion Grant.

Engaged Learning

  • Double resources for student professional readiness, undergraduate research opportunities, student service learning and community engagement with an additional $4 million.

Academic Programs and Faculty

  • Launch UNI’s new nursing BSN with $3.5 million.
  • Raise an additional $10 million to support faculty and academic program growth.

Iconic Spaces

The Our Tomorrow campaign is co-chaired by David Takes, ‘81, and Katie Mulholland, ‘69, ‘80 and ‘89. A 14-member steering committee has provided leadership and guidance on the campaign and will continue to do so over the next two years. 

The three previous comprehensive campaigns for the university – Students FirstFocus on Students and Imagine the Impact – raised a combined $304 million. Each of those campaigns also exceeded their fundraising goals.

More information about the Our Tomorrow campaign can be found at ourtomorrow.uni.edu.