EDMOND — A $40 million fundraising campaign was announced just this week, but the University of Central Oklahoma already is more than three-fourths of the way to its goal.
UCO kicked off its Always Central campaign Tuesday. The announcement marked the opening of the public phase of the campaign, but the drive already has received $30.4 million in donations.
Those donations came during the campaign's silent phase, in which organizers sought contributions from a few major donors. That phase began in 2008, said Reagan Hamlin, UCO Foundation spokeswoman. The university will wrap up the campaign in June 2014.
Donations given during the silent phase came primarily from alumni and corporate donors, said campaign co-chairman Lee Beasley.
Beasley said he was encouraged to see the campaign begin its public phase with such a large sum raised.
“It's overwhelming,” he said. “The alumni have really stepped up.”
Many of the donors during the silent phase were Oklahoma City companies that employ UCO graduates, said Sherry Beasley, who is a campaign co-chairwoman.
Because of UCO's status as a metropolitan university, she said, many of its graduates stay in the Oklahoma City area to work, and 85 percent of graduates stay in Oklahoma.
The campaign is the first campuswide fundraising initiative UCO has launched, said Lee Beasley, although individual colleges and programs within the university have had fund drives.