C&IS, Libraries meet Rising Tide fundraising goal five years early

Zach Johnson | @ZachJohnsonCW, News Editor

The College of Communication and Information Sciences and University Libraries have reached their fundraising goals for the University’s 10-year, $1.5 billion Rising Tide Capital Campaign. 

The Rising Tide campaign entered its public phase on Sept.10 and has five years of fundraising left, but eight of the 12 units that have unmet fundraising goals are more than halfway there. 

Some funding raised during the campaign has already been utilized. Hewson Hall, which opened in time for the fall 2021 semester, was funded in part through Rising Tide. 

After a five-year period of private fundraising, C&IS and University Libraries are the first to reach their multimillion-dollar fundraising goals.

Communication and Information Sciences

C&IS met its $25 million goal and is focusing on five key areas: endowed faculty positions, new research endowments and centers, graduate fellowships, experiential learning endowments and scholarship funding. 

Fundraising goals are not set directly by each unit of the Rising Tide campaign. Instead, goals are set collaboratively between each unit, the UA Division of Advancement and the unit’s campaign committee. 

“We know what we would like to have funded, what we hope to have funded,” said Jenny Wells Pyle, C&IS director of development. “But it also depends on what donors are interested in. And, you know, those don’t always perfectly match up.”

C&IS Dean Mark Nelson attributed its quick success to generous donors. 

One donor in particular, the Holle Family Foundation, gave $10 million — half of the college’s original funding goal. The foundation honors Brig. Gen. Everett Holle, a member of the C&IS Hall of Fame, and his parents, Evelyn and Fred Holle. 

Though the Holle Family Foundation’s$10 million gift has not been entirely paid out yet, the gift will help fund the Holle Chair in Communication Arts, a new interdisciplinary faculty position. The chairperson will help decide the direction for the corresponding Holle Center for Communication Arts. 

Nelson said C&IS would search internally for the chair position, which will help give them time to develop a “robust” center, research program, and national profile. 

Many programs funded by Rising Tide are in development and lack official plans. One program, a faculty fellowship for journalistic integrity, will be announced soon.

University Libraries

University Libraries met its Rising Tide fundraising goal of $5 million. 

“And I think it’s a testament to that, although we don’t have alumni within the university libraries, we touched just about every student who has ever come through here,” Director of Libraries Donald Gilstrap said. 

University Libraries has a number of plans funded through Rising Tide, which includes the relocation of special collections from Mary Harmon Bryant Hall to Gorgas Library, and will require construction of climate-controlled facilities. 

A Graduate Student Commons is also in the works. The space would add research librarians, statistical and research software, individual and collaborative spaces, and consultation rooms. 

“Just because we hit our goal does not mean that we’re stopping,” Gilstrap said. 

Like C&IS, new projects will be announced as new funding levels are reached. 

Thanks to a gift from Dedie Hendrix, a member of the Library Leadership Board, and her husband Bill, Libraries is establishing the Russell Hendrix Endowment for Excellence. 

Gilstrap reiterated that Libraries’ donors have a “wonderful philanthropic spirit” and that Libraries is “incredibly fortunate to have such generous donors.”