The University of Maryland has launched a $1.5 billion fundraising campaign, Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland. The fundraising campaign will focus on elevating and expanding the university's mission of service, enhancing academic distinction, and bolstering UMD's leading-edge research enterprise. Craig Thompson, who serves as one of the co-chairs of the campaign, told the Washington Business Journal that the campaign is personal for him. Mr. Thompson got his undergrad degree there in 1992.
"If the University of Maryland had not accepted me, I have no idea where I'd be right now, so I really do attribute my exposure to the students and the faculty and the world view that the University of Maryland provided to me as the difference maker in my life," said Thompson.
The university said the campaign money will support students, faculty, research, arts, and athletics through four key priority areas:
- New investments in faculty, including endowed chairs, professorships, fellowships, and deanships;
- Support for innovative programs and capital projects, including the construction of new state-of-art facilities;
- More scholarships to expand access and affordability, and innovative co-curricular programs like study abroad, internship, and research opportunities; and,
- Expansion of programs in entrepreneurship, social innovation, and creative thinking.
The focus on innovation and entrepreneurship has long been a priority under President Wallace Loh, and "encouraging our young people to think bigger, to think ahead, and to try to change the world instead of just being a part of it" is an important factor, Thompson said.
The campaign also presents a chance for the school to connect with potential alumni donors around the world, "and really tap back into some Terps who had not been as involved in the campus as they could've been," he said.
The Baltimore Business Journal and the Baltimore Sun also covered the news.