UCM recently announced an initiative aimed at raising an additional $1 million in annual scholarships for UCM students.
The Gift of Success Campaign will begin July 1 with an official launch in September. The campaign will fund the new unrestricted scholarship Funds for Student Success, according to a news release.
President Chuck Ambrose announced this initiative May 11 and donated $25,000 of his own money to the fund as an invitation to other donors, according to the news release.
“This is an exciting opportunity for UCM, and I look forward to engaging our alumni and leadership in doing something very special to assist students who may not be able to cross the degree finish line without financial support,” Ambrose said in a written statement. “During the next 12 months, we are going to challenge some of our best UCM alumni and longtime supporters to match my gift.”
During multiple informational forums held in the spring semester, Ambrose said one of the highest priorities of the university is to increase its retention rate to 80 percent. He said that each 1 percent increase in the university’s retention is equivalent to $800,000 in new revenue for the university. The university’s retention rate is currently about 72 percent.
“Scholarships are essential to meeting our ambitious retention goal,” Ambrose said. “While the amount of financial assistance students need may vary, research has shown that an average of $672 is often all that stands between a student and their ability to stay in school.”
Throughout fiscal year 2019, the UCM Alumni Foundation will work to procure pledges for the Fund for Student Success, which will help fund current UCM grants and scholarships, like the 15-to-finish scholarship, while also funding need-based scholarships, according to the news release.
Prior to the announcement of this campaign, Ambrose announced the hiring of Bill Estes as the interim vice president of university advancement – executive director of the Foundation. With Estes now on board, an outline of how scholarships will be awarded is expected in June, according to University Relations.
The launch of the Gift of Success Campaign coincides with UCM’s incoming graduating class of 2021, which will be the university’s 150th graduating class.