One of a Kind Campaign bolsters endowment by $131.6 million
Since October 2011, the University of Puget Sound has conducted a fundraising campaign known as the One of a Kind campaign. The goal of the campaign was to raise $125 million from contributions from alumni, parents and friends.
This past June, when the University concluded the campaign, the goal had been surpassed by an additional $6.6 million, bringing the total raised to $131.6 million from 28,493 respondents.
Outgoing Puget Sound President, Ronald Thomas, commended this achievement.
“It is remarkable how transformative this campaign has been for Puget Sound, and what a difference it will make in the lives of students today and in the future,” Thomas said. “Everyone who contributed to this campaign has helped to realize the objectives of a 10-year strategic plan that supported key priorities to strengthen our leadership role as a national liberal arts college, from student financial aid, to exceptional facilities for living and learning, to innovative academic programs.”
“Our donors also helped to create a culture of engagement and giving that will sustain many more generations and allow Puget Sound to build on a pioneering legacy that extends back to our founding in 1888.”
The financial aid Thomas mentioned included a reported $56.7 million going to the endowment that provides financial aid for students. This allowed for the creation of 85 new scholarships, along with an initiative called the Tacoma Public Schools Commitment.
This commitment promises that if students are admitted from Tacoma Public Schools, the full demonstrated financial need of these students will be met.
The funding also supported programs such as Southeast Asian studies, neuroscience, biophysics, bioethics, digital humanities, Latino/Latina Studies, and environmental policy and decision making, while helping to pay $37.9 million to Facilities for projects like the construction of the new Athletics and Aquatics center.
In addition, the money was put towards the creation of the William T. and Gail T. Weyerhaeuser Center for Health Sciences, which has seen 9,387 patients in occupational therapy and physical therapy clinics since Weyerhaeuser Hall opened in 2011. The remaining $37 million goes to annual support.
The University also released an issue of Arches, the alumni magazine of the University of Puget Sound, entitled “The One Of A Kind Issue” to commemorate the ending of the campaign.
The magazine primarily featured current students and alumni who have all had an impact on the Puget Sound community, including current ASUPS President Nakisha Renée Jones.
The magazine issue highlighted some of the specific scholarship funds that were provided to students over the past year and stating that 141 existing endowed scholarships received additional donations, plus 85 scholarships were newly endowed.
There is, however, controversy about the way the endowment is invested. At a celebration for the One of a Kind campaign that is occurring on Oct. 30, the Puget Sound Environmental Campus Outreach (ECO) club is planning to rally at the event to raise awareness about the divestment campaign that has reached over 750 signatures.
They released a statement on the Facebook event for the rally saying, “On the heels of our conversations with the Board of Trustees we feel it is pertinent to maintain an educated discussion on divestment from fossil fuels.
Homecoming weekend provides an audience—parents and alumni—that benefit from learning about activism at UPS. With over 750 signatures from members of the campus community it is clear that divestment from fossil fuels is what students, faculty, and alumni are calling for.”