EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – One of the Tri-State’s universities kicked off a major fundraising campaign on April 23. The University of Evansville (UE) has named the campaign Forward >>.

The comprehensive campaign is dedicated to raising $125 million and investing in three major priorities for the campus. The multi-year project began with a gala on campus which it was announced that more than $76 million has already been gifted toward the campaign.

“At UE, we have fostered a culture among our students to create positive change – not in 10 years, not after graduation, but now,” said President of the University Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz. “This campaign takes that culture to a new level. With this support, we can create a great impact across every facet of our campus and every part of the student experience.”

The name of the campaign comes from UE adopting a forward-thinking approach to accommodate future generations of Aces. Forward >> will expand learning opportunities and experiences prior to graduation due to young adults needing to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving workforce.

The three pillars of Forward>> are listed below and will be made possible through the generous support of donors.

The first pillar is powering a transformational, accessible education. Students must have their needs met first that includes financial support, health and wellness and a learning environment that reflects the world.

The campaign will power this commitment through initiatives including:

  • Endowed scholarships – Increasing the number of awarded scholarships will invest in the continued vitality of UE and ensure access and affordability for a more diverse student body.
  • Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) – Enhancements will be made to this department including more scholarships for promising students of color and faculty support for incorporating DEI in coursework.
  • Wellness and Recreation Center – UE plans to construct a 70,000-square-foot facility at the corner of Weinbach Avenue and Walnut Street that will include fitness equipment, space for intramural sports, wellness classes and community outreach services like the pro-bono AceCARE physical therapy clinic.
  • Carson Center revitalization – Renovating this facility will elevate the 17 NCAA Division I sports teams at UE. The improvements will include new practice and training spaces, expanded training rooms for increased preventive care, an enlarged weight room, visiting team locker rooms and a student-athlete lounge.

The second pillar focuses on bringing academics to life. Active, hands-on education is essential to a well-rounded learning experience.

Gifts will be utilized to strengthen these efforts across several departments and facilities including:

  • The Center for Innovation & Change – The Center gives students skills that transcend the resume and it serves as a source for student projects, start-ups, and initiatives. Funds will support staffing, new business endeavors and outreach efforts.
  • Wallace B. Graves Hall – This facility houses many programs within the College of Education and Health Sciences such as nursing, athletic training and public health. UE is committed to providing dynamic opportunities that fill the pipeline with skilled graduates as the healthcare industry continues to grow. Improvements will include up-to-date classrooms, labs and innovation spaces for collaborative projects and subject-based research.
  • Engineering Project Building – The School of Engineering and Computer Science is heavily focused on project-based, experiential learning. This new facility will furnish open spaces and cutting-edge equipment to expand class projects and team challenges.
  • Harlaxton study abroad experience – Harlaxton College, UE’s Victorian manor in England, has been consistently ranked the top study abroad program in the nation. Forward>> will ensure the program’s sustainability by investing in improvements to the manor’s interior and grounds. Scholarships will also be funded to make this unique experience more accessible to Aces.

The third pillar will fuel faculty who discover, teach and mentor. Faculty are experts in their fields and are essential to the university. Forward will increase funding for professional development and growth.

Initiatives stemming from the campaign include:

  • Endowed chairs and professorships – These positions are crucial to enhancing teaching and learning at UE and will also help attract talent and retain talent.
  • Academic department funds – Each academic department has various needs like equipment, software or databases. Those who make a gift can furnish these funds and choose which department to support.
  • Student/faculty research – Graduate and undergraduate research opportunities are what set UE apart from other institutions. The campaign will raise endowed funds to support the research program UExplore through summer stipends, equipment and supplies.
  • Faculty development – UE will expand opportunities for professional development like workshops, conferences or research support.

Gifts can be made toward Forward>> at any time by visiting forward.evansville.edu. Updates on the amount gifted toward the comprehensive campaign will also be provided on the same webpage. All gifts will create a lasting impact on the University and support Aces for many years to come.