Generous alumni boost CoJMC toward its fundraising goal

By Cara Pesek
J Alumni News staff

November 2012 — Alumni of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have been generous.

Halfway through a university-wide nearly four-year campaign to raise money for scholarships, endowed professorships, equipment upgrades and more, the journalism school has raised 88 percent of its $8 million goal, said Joanna Nordhues, NU Foundation director of development for the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Contributions so far include:

  • More than $2 million toward scholarships.
  • Nearly $2 million for general program support.
  • More than $1 million for faculty support.
  • More than $350,000 for capital improvements.

"I am grateful that I work with so many alumni who are interested in helping support the College of Journalism," Nordhues said.

The fundraising effort is part of the Campaign for Nebraska Unlimited Possibilities, a $1.2 billion fundraising campaign that organizers hope will ultimately benefit all four NU campuses. It is the largest fundraising campaign in university history.

According to the campaign website, the primary goal of the fundraising effort is to increase scholarship funds, thus increasing access to higher education for Nebraska students. Other goals include recruitment and retention of top faculty, growing funding for research and increasing study abroad opportunities.

Additionally, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications would like to use money generated during the campaign to develop the Center for Mobile News and Advertising, which will prepare students to develop content for cell phones and other mobile devices; for equipment upgrades; and for general operating costs.

Lynn Roper, University of Nebraska–Lincoln journalism alumnus and volunteer campaign committee chairwoman, said journalism school grads have taken the need for scholarships seriously. The college's $2 million scholarship goal was among the first met.

Now, she said, it's time to focus on money for teaching. Roper cited the New Voices project -- a class dedicated to telling the stories of several refugee groups through an interactive website with stories and video -- as an example of an innovative class that requires extra support.

Nordhues agreed.

"Our most critical need for the remaining years of the campaign is to raise funds to recruit and retain faculty members, particularly those who can teach the next generation of journalism," she said. "When you are competing with all the other journalism colleges for top talent, private funds can really make the difference in attracting the best people to teach at Nebraska."

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