RISE Campaign meets $175 million goal ahead of schedule

The University of Tennessee at Martin RISE fundraising campaign has surpassed its goal of $175 million weeks before its planned June 30 end date.

The RISE campaign is the university’s fourth campaign as well as its greatest fundraising endeavor in the university’s 123-year history.

In 2021, UTM completed its “Prepare for Takeoff” five-year strategic plan, which helped to guide the planning of the RISE campaign. The strategic plan was formed through an inclusive process involving more than 600 administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, students and members of surrounding communities.

The RISE campaign’s priorities aligned with the strategic plan and focused on two of its strategic themes:

  • Enhancing student outcomes through recruitment, retention and graduate students who are prepared to be responsible, informed and engaged citizens and leaders, and
  • Strengthening engagement by being a model of responsible stewardship while improving the vitality and prosperity of West Tennessee and beyond.

Interim Chancellor Dr. Philip Acree Cavalier said the largest portion of the monies raised through the RISE campaign would support student scholarships and begin offering programs in veterinary technology and veterinary science and animal science at the Wildwood Farm in Germantown.

Funds will also support athletics and capital projects at the university.

Cavalier said he was pleased with the result of this ambitious effort and praised Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Dr. Charley Deal for his work on the project.

“I’m thrilled that we have exceeded the very ambitious goal that was set for the RISE campaign,” he said. “Former chancellors Dr. Keith Carver and Dr. Bob Smith led the campaign for the university and played critical roles in creating a compelling case for supporting the transformational work of UT Martin, and Dr. Charley Deal played a major role in advancing that case and leading the advancement team to succeed.”

Deal said the impact of the capital campaign cannot be undervalued and praised those who had a hand in its success.

“The historical outcome of this campaign will shape our university for generations to come,” he said. “Without a dedicated staff of professionals and a campus that embraces philanthropy, we would not have been successful in meeting and surpassing our goal.”

Kerry Witcher, the chief executive officer for the UT Foundation, expressed his gratitude to those who contributed to the success of the campaign.

“All of us are grateful for the support from nearly 14,500 alumni and friends during the campaign,” he said. “Thanks to their generosity, UTM is well-positioned to serve the next generation of students.”

Campaign co-chairs Charlie and Bettye Moore said they supported the campaign because “For us, it is our way of paying it forward to the next generation of leaders, innovators, nurses, teachers, etc. We are proud to have assisted in raising funds to support the amazing students that attend UT Martin. We want to thank the countless volunteers and donors who have invested their time and funds into making UTM a better place.”

Previous UTM independent fundraising campaigns were initiated in 1977, 2000 and 2012.

Despite reaching and exceeding the target goal, people who want to contribute to the campaign may still do so at give.utm.edu. Donation information can be found at www.utm.edu, by calling 731-881-7620 or by emailing to development@utm.edu.


Previous Story

WestStar Leadership Program graduates 33rd class

Next Story

Art Sparks honored for making a difference