UT raises more than double its fundraising goal during annual '40 for Forty' campaign

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Biology senior Nicole Miller, left, and psychology freshman Naomi Cohen, right, watch geology freshman Gabrielle Stedman, middle, hang from exercise equipment at an event promoting ‘40 for Forty.’”
Photo Credit: Michael Baez | Daily Texan Staff

UT raised more than double its fundraising goal during the “40 for Forty” campaign, which ended Thursday night. 

The campaign, which ran for 40 hours from 4 a.m. Wednesday to 8 p.m. Thursday, raised $367,690, exceeding the University’s original $140,000 goal. 

The event, which ran for the first time last year, raised money to fund any UT initiatives donors wished to support, and could be designated for a specific college, department, facility or student organization. 

Adrian Matthys, director of annual giving programs for the UT Development Office, said fundraising campaigns are a necessary supplement to tuition revenue and state funding the University receives.

“If the University was only run on tuition alone, classes would start in September, and they would end somewhere in mid-November,” Matthys said. “If we didn’t have money from the state, if we didn’t have charitable gifts, if we didn’t have gifts from corporations and foundations — school would be done.”

Michael Sulkis, mechanical engineering sophomore and the vice president of Texas Rock Climbing, said the club hoped to fundraise $2,000 to cover expenses for the team’s trip to San Diego. 

“Our national championship this year is in San Diego,” Sulkis said. “Every dollar that we can get through events like this and other fundraising will help send more climbers to our competition and have a stronger representation of the team. [The money will go towards] travel, hotels and working out our deals with climbing gyms in Austin, which just lowers cost for the team members.”

International relations senior Megan Hinojosa said campus involvement motivates students to donate to the student organizations they care about. 

“I think students donate to organizations or anything in general because they’ve had some type of personal experience with it,” Hinojosa said.

Matthys said small donations are just as important to the University as large sum donations. 

“We hear a whole lot about the $50,000,000 gift to establish a college, or when somebody gives $25,000 to start a scholarship endowment,” Matthys said. “What many people don’t realize is really, the backbone of our fundraising efforts for the most part are $25, $50, $100, $1000 gifts from parents, alumni, friends and students.”