‘Light the Way’: UNCG announces first comprehensive campaign in 15 years with goal of $200 million

Piedmont Triad News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — “Light the way” is the theme of the University of North Carolina Greensboro’s campaign fundraiser.

“This is our first campaign in a number of years, over 10 years,” Chancellor Frank Gillman Jr. said.

After being put off last year because of the pandemic, university leaders are hoping to raise $200 million. It’s a goal that’s not farfetched, according to the university’s website. They have raised more than half that amount.

$100 million will go towards students’ scholarships, $60 million will go towards new programs for the university and $40 million will go towards staff and faculty.

Organizers say the ambitious goal will help strengthen those three key areas. With half of the money raised benefiting current and future students at the university.

FOX8 spoke to current students about what the campaign means to them.

“The first thing that came into mind was opportunity. A lot of students don’t have an opportunity for higher education…so for them to be able to do this for students that look like me, that don’t look like me, come from the same background, or a different background, I think it’s a beautiful thing,” said grad student Jaylen Ellis.

“As someone who has not had a super great home life myself, it’s been really awesome to really benefit for those funds,” Portia Washington said.

Part of the money going towards faculty will be added to their salary when they are not under contract during the summer months.

Staff members like Laurie Wideman say those funds will be used to invest back into her students.

“This gives me the freedom to use that money for things that you normally can’t pay for students,” she said.

The campaign announcement comes just in time for the University Founder’s Day. Students and faculty gathered for a celebration in the Cone Ballroom.

Chancellor Gillman Jr. said the campaign fundraiser is a win-win for everyone at the university, and it’s a way to put all students on an equal playing field.

“We have a lot of students who are Pell-eligible who have great need, but we also have a lot of middle-class students who fall in the middle of need, and family money to pay. The idea is for us to lower student debt and to have students leave here with as little debt as possible,” he said.

The “Light the Way” Campaign will continue over the next five years.

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