On Nov. 5, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette announced the start of the public phase of Together, the university’s largest fundraising campaign thus far. 

The campaign lists three priorities, or pillars: student success and teaching, research and discovery and service to the community. The campaign’s goal is to raise $500 million to go towards these three priorities by 2025. 

For student success and teaching, UL Lafayette intends to increase access to scholarships for students, as well as enhancing academic and athletic facilities. This also includes offering more practical research and work experience opportunities to students. 

On research and discovery, the university wants to hire new faculty members, expand research programs and partnerships and modernize research facilities. 

According to the university’s website, various fields of research will benefit “From green energy solutions and climate research to breakthrough health care treatments, the funds we raise will open pathways to endless new opportunities that will benefit the world outside our University doors.” 

On service to the community, the university website writes, “With the help of our generous university partners and donors, UL Lafayette is able to power programs and initiatives that enhance our local community in a number of ways.” 

This includes investment in clinical and health sciences education, supporting Ragin’ Cajun Athletics to increase the university’s reputation, improving programs for future educators and supporting new and original creative works. 

The initial phase of the campaign began in 2016, and it has since raised over $303 million from alumni and friends of the university. 

The funds raised from this initial phase have already been put to use. With this money, the university has created four endowed chairs and 34 endowed professorships, as well as 122 endowed student scholarship funds. 

The money has also been put towards various construction and renovation efforts, including the renovation of labs in the B.I Moody III College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering and the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences. 

Roy House was also renovated to house the Center for Louisiana Studies, and the Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center was created. 

“The Blanco Center is an independent, interdisciplinary research center, bringing together experts from different academic departments to conduct applied policy-related research, host events to advance policy and assist those making and implementing policy in Louisiana with best practices, enhancing public services and technical assistance,” reads the university’s website. 

Renovations towards athletic facilities have also taken place, including the renovation of the Russo Park baseball stadium, a new video scoreboard at the Lamon Park softball stadium, the construction of the Donald and Janice Mosing Student-Athlete Performance Center and the construction of the Golf Indoor Teaching Facility. 

Jaimie Hebert, UL Lafayette’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, spoke on the effects of the fundraising effort. 

“This campaign has provided more opportunities for student success, world-class facilities for our student-athletes, a deeper connection to this community and its culture, and a stronger, better prepared and more agile workforce,” Hebert said. 

The fundraising campaign is still underway, with the university accepting both one-time and recurring gifts on its website. Donors can choose where they want their donation to go, whether that be to a specific fund or towards enhancing a college of their choosing.