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University of Central Oklahoma launches $40 million fundraising campaign

University of Central Oklahoma kicked off its Always Central campaign on Tuesday. Although the announcement marked the official opening of the public phase of the campaign, the drive already has netted $30.4 million in donations.
by Silas Allen Published: September 26, 2012

Role of fundraising

UCO's campaign may be the first the university has launched, but it's not the only one of its kind in the state. Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma have similar campaigns to support scholarships, campus building projects and other efforts.

Fundraising is becoming more important for colleges and universities, Lee Beasley said. When enrollment growth outpaces state funding, he said, public universities are forced to look elsewhere to make up the difference.

Funds raised will affect many areas of the university, Lee Beasley said. Funds will go toward scholarships, endowed chairs, new academic programs and other efforts.

The campaign will fund major campus construction and improvement projects, he said, including Old North renovations and constructing a boathouse on the Oklahoma River.

The university in 2007 announced plans to build the boathouse east of the Chesapeake Boathouse for use by the UCO rowing team, as well as the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.

University officials initially expected the boathouse to be complete by 2008. UCO spokeswoman Adrienne Nobles said university officials later decided to wait to begin construction until all needed funding was in place.