A campaign to support our dreams

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Keith Brant, Vice Chancellor, University Relations
A year ago this week, we launched the public phase of The Campaign for UC Santa Cruz, the first comprehensive effort to raise the stakes in private support for the campus. The first year was a rousing success. In the fiscal year ending in June, the campus raised a record $50 million in new gifts, pledges, and planned gifts, pushing the campaign total past the $180 million mark and closer to the $300 million goal.  This alone is an occasion to celebrate!

But, as much as we think and talk in terms of dollars raised, a campaign is about far more than just fundraising.  In fact, the dollars are short-term milestones on the way toward accomplishing a number of long-term goals.

First, this campaign is about dreaming. It’s about developing our collective vision for the future: Who we want to be, what we want to offer, what we want to look like, and, then finding the resources that support our vision. The popular 20th Century poet William Arthur Ward wrote, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” The interdisciplinary Institute of the Arts and Sciences is a great example of a new vision. Our challenge is to find investors who believe in our dreams, too.

Second, this campaign is about telling our stories. The Santa Cruz stories live in our passion to understand and protect the earth, the seas, and the sky as manifest through such studies as marine conservation, agroecology, seismology, water research, coastal sustainability and astrophysics. We decode and organize data to improve lives through the study of genomics, data science, gaming, digital media and robotics. We embrace the liberal arts as a means to understand the meaning of life and creatively express our being.  UC Santa Cruz stories are ones built on courage—the courage to be different, to challenge the status quo, and dare to make the world a better place

Our dreams and our stories are useless unless they are heard. Therefore, our campaign must be about engaging people, bending their ears and helping them to understand how we are unique and worthy. In this campaign, we seek to expand our reach so that more alumni and more friends of the campus will hear our call. Our upcoming 50th Anniversary will serve as a catalyst for people to take notice. Across campus, faculty, staff, and students are developing plans to make 2015 an unforgettably rewarding and intellectually stimulating year.

Finally, this campaign is about sustained efficacy and getting better at what we do. As we find more ways to tell our stories, more people will hear them, more people will engage in the life of the campus, and more people will support our dreams.

Everybody can participate in this campaign--by dreaming a great future for the campus, carefully crafting the stories they tell, and reaching out and welcoming others to experience UC Santa Cruz.