About the Campaign for Carolina
Our Campaign History
It’s been nearly a decade since Carolina’s last comprehensive campaign—Carolina First: The Campaign for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—concluded on Dec. 31, 2007, during which more than 194,000 donors contributed $2.38 billion to support and advance UNC’s vision of becoming the nation’s leading public university.
At that time, it was the fifth largest fundraising total among completed campaigns in the history of U.S. higher education and the largest in the South.
It was groundbreaking. It was historic. It was transformative. It was Carolina.
the Campaign for Carolina
A lot has happened since our last fundraising campaign. Challenged by reductions in state funding and a significant economic downturn as a result of the Great Recession in 2008, Carolina has managed to sustain and even advance its excellence in teaching, research and service. The quality of the student body is the best ever. Applications for admission have increased each of the past 12 years—more than 40,000 for 2017-2018 alone—bringing incredibly accomplished and talented students to Chapel Hill. Our faculty are nationally and globally renowned, two Nobel laureates among them.
Our research enterprise and funding have grown dramatically, reaching nearly $1 billion annually in sponsored research dollars.
In recent years, the University has made extraordinary advances in fields such as biomedical engineering, cancer and big data. According to Chancellor Carol L. Folt in a 2016 interview with the Higher Education Foundation, Carolina has become a dynamic innovation center, helping to launch more than 150 new start-up companies, generate nearly 100,000 jobs and pump almost $7 billion into the state’s economy.
UNC is one of a select few research universities nationally that is home to a premier Level I trauma hospital and cancer research center, plus leading schools of medicine, dentistry, public health, pharmacy, nursing and social work. Add in superb liberal arts curricula along with top schools of business, law, journalism and government as well as exceptional athletics programs across 28 men’s and women’s Olympic sports, and Carolina further sets itself apart for excellence.
Now, Carolina is a worldwide leader among premier research universities for discoveries and contributions that improve quality of life for all.
Private philanthropy has been crucial to upholding the University’s upward trajectory, and will continue to be a difference maker that will take Carolina from an excellent research university to a truly pre-eminent global institution of higher learning, discovery and service to all.
Carolina has the potential, the wherewithal, the talent and the conviction to lead the academic world in improving the human condition. There is no better time than now.
That’s why on Oct. 6, Carolina launched its most ambitious fundraising campaign ever—For All Kind: The Campaign for Carolina—a bold effort aimed at fostering an innovation generation prepared to lead the world to a better future through research and scholarship, example and ethos.
Our goal—$4.25 billion by Dec. 31, 2022—attempts to answer a simple but far-reaching question:
What will it take to fulfill our potential so we can make the biggest difference in North Carolina, across the country and around the world?
It will take a significant investment in Carolina’s core strengths and a renewed vigor in innovation, impact and entrepreneurship to remain responsive to the times and needs of our people.
Why For all Kind?
On the occasion of Carolina’s bicentennial celebration in 1993, alumnus and celebrated journalist Charles Kuralt said:
“What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. Or the crisp October nights or the memory of dogwoods blooming. …No, our love for this place is based on the fact that it is, as it was meant to be: The University of the people.”
Those poignant words not only inspired those who hold Carolina dear, but reaffirmed the University’s commitment to be a beacon of enlightenment for all who seek it, and a champion for change in communities all across the state, throughout the nation and around the globe.
Today, Kuralt’s words define what this campaign is about: PEOPLE.
Carolina’s deep roots in public service have grown into a University-wide effort to make more than just a difference, but a better life in the future.
Priorities for Success
For All Kind: The Campaign for Carolina is inspired by the Blueprint for Next, the University’s overarching strategic framework laid out this year by Chancellor Folt to guide its growth and future direction. Upheld by two core strategies — “Of the Public, for the Public” and “Innovation Made Fundamental” — the Blueprint for Nextcombines Carolina’s historic role in service to the state and its people with a fundamental quality essential to Carolina’s future success: a willingness to continually reinvent itself.
The University’s willingness to grow and change while staying rooted in its public service mission informed and refined the campaign priorities:
- Students and the Educational Experience: The New Graduate
- Faculty and Scholarship: The 21st-Century Professoriate
- Innovation and Impact: A Culture of Innovation
- Signature Initiatives, such as The Carolina Edge Scholarship Initiative, the Institute for Convergent Science and Arts Everywhere, with more to be named throughout the campaign.
Students and the Educational Experience: The New Graduate
Carolina is home to some of the world’s most adept and curious minds for a reason: Enabling the best and brightest to shine is vital to our public mission and the nation’s future.
We know talented students want to study, work and learn alongside other talented students. No matter their background, they all join together to make Carolina stronger and better. And when they flourish here, they graduate to lead in the world.
The New Graduate will receive hands-on learning experience, learn to function—and lead—in team settings, and graduate digitally and data literate. Graduates like Destinee Grove ’17, a Morehead-Cain scholar and undergraduate researcher who studied how the frequency of head impacts in football players could affect behavior.
Specifically, we will:
- Provide access to a great education and global experiences to ensure all outstanding students get the opportunities they deserve.
- Provide innovative teaching and experiential learning to prepare students to take their place in a fast-changing world.
- Create buildings and spaces that optimize student success in academics and athletics.
Faculty and Scholarship: The 21st-Century Professoriate
Carolina fosters original ideas, encourages innovative inquiry and breaks new ground. We’ve been at the forefront of research and discovery for more than 200 years, largely for one reason: our faculty. We attract and retain the best of the best. Carolina ranks 8th in the nation for research activity, and businesses launched here generate $7 billion in annual revenue. We are continuously working to cultivate an environment that is conducive to this creation of new knowledge and solutions. The next generation has unlimited potential, and we must continue equipping faculty to help define where this potential can go, leading the way in every path of study.
The 21st-Century Professoriate is collaborative, creative and committed to serving the people of our state and beyond. They are high-achieving, interdisciplinary scholars pursuing high-potential, high-reward research with a global reach.
Scholars like Shawn Hingtgen, whose research team in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and colleagues in the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a pioneering cancer treatment method that turns skin cells to cancer-fighting stem cells able to hunt down and eradicate tumor remnants.
Specifically, we will:
- Recruit and retain world-class faculty and foster an environment that inspires their creativity, collaboration and service to the state and beyond.
- Target and support high-potential, high-reward research to grow our portfolio and extend its reach around the world.
- Create buildings and spaces that optimize faculty success in teaching and multi-disciplinary research.
- Build a 21st-century Professor of the Practice program to ensure that students learn from top professionals in their fields.
Innovation and Impact: A Culture of Innovation
Research is pursued with the end goal of helping humanity: helping to cure diseases, to alleviate poverty, to ease life’s hardships. Innovative thinking and problem solving are powerful tools in building a better world and a brilliant future. This is why the ideas and discoveries at Carolina are designed to reach more people, faster. Whether it’s medicine, technology or the humanities, many of our initiatives and goals center around developing a more efficient way for research to help more people than ever.
Different avenues of thought are imperative in getting to where we need to be, which is why diversity is such an essential component to innovation that makes an impact. By giving the opportunity for discovery to people from a diverse array of backgrounds, we widen our problem-solving abilities, enhancing our potential for creative thought.
The Culture of Innovationbuilds on a collaborative culture already strong among the faculty, particularly in areas such as applied physical sciences, computational sciences and biomedical engineering. Four priorities will keep us at the forefront of every research horizon and focused on impact in everything we do. They span many disciplines, and funding them will ensure we tackle the world’s biggest problems from many angles.
- Enhance our position as a preeminent translational research university to strengthen our impact in North Carolina and beyond.
- Accelerate the pace of getting entrepreneurial ideas with commercial promise or social impact to markets and people in North Carolina and around the world.
- Create buildings and spaces that foster innovation and multi-disciplinary solutions to challenges.
- Support and expand thought-provoking arts programming to strengthen creativity and critical
thinking among students, faculty and community.
In an April 2017 University Gazette story highlighting the Blueprint for Next,” Chancellor Folt said: “Higher education is the longest and most inspiring and most important industry in all of America that leads from dream to opportunity.”
In that spirit, we will also identify Signature Initiatives addressing issues and opportunities that emerge over the course of the campaign, leveraging our strengths to remain responsive to the times and needs of the people. Three were announced during the campaign’s public launch: 1) The Carolina Edge Scholarship Initiative, 2) The Institute for Convergent Science and 3) Arts Everywhere.
The Carolina Edge Scholarship Initiative
The Carolina Edge is a campus-wide scholarship initiative to ensure we are able to recruit the very best students. To do this, we intend to raise $1 billion in this campaign specifically for student undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships in areas such as the Carolina Covenant, middle income scholarships, merit scholars, summer internship grants, athletics and graduate and professional school financial aid.
Our students stand ready to have an immeasurable effect on the state and the world. But before they can deliver for us, we must deliver for them. The barriers that prevent students from realizing their potential can seem insurmountable. We will break down these obstacles, starting with those between students and an exceptional education. Everyone has the right to unlock their potential, and we will lift up North Carolina’s best and brightest. While many opportunities bolster the Carolina student experience, our priorities focus on bringing the greatest benefit to the largest number of people.
The Institute for Convergent Science
The most ambitious capital project in Carolina history, the UNC Science Complex drives creative collaboration, with faculty and students coming together to solve the world’s biggest problems. We’ve already taken huge strides in forward-looking areas such as applied physical sciences and biomedical engineering, building the groundwork for the ultimate step in interdisciplinary innovation: The Institute for Convergent Science.
The final piece of the Science Complex, the Institute for Convergent Science will connect the life sciences to the health and biomedical sciences, fostering collaboration to answer such questions as “What if polymer composite aircraft wings could be as light as feathers?” or “What if new membrane materials enabled global water desalinization?” Most important, the Institute will advance humanity. We will accelerate the translation of theoretical knowledge into real-world solutions, and we will deliver those solutions to more people. The most successful universities will use their expertise to better society. The Institute for Convergent Science will lead the way.
Creativity and innovation come from thinking about problems and connecting ideas in new ways, drawing from a rich background of diverse experiences, from science, from history and from the arts. No matter what a student studies, art and artistic expression will be essential to their education. We empower arts programs to enrich every corner of campus, and make sure creative thought informs every student’s education. Arts are more than just an integral part of the educational experience; they inspire creativity and innovation.