Fulton Challenge Paying Off

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    By Kristen Radford

    Double or nothing: That phrase has taken on new meaning at UVSC this year, since Ira and Mary Lou Fulton have pledged to double all donations made to UVSC in 2006.

    The Fulton Challenge, which raised $1.4 million for Arizona State University last year, has heightened fundraising awareness in students, faculty, staff, and friends of UVSC.

    “We”re very grateful for the Fultons” generosity,” said Val Hale, assistant vice president of external affairs at UVSC.

    Ira and Mary Lou Fulton, who own Fulton Homes in Arizona and have made numerous large donations to both BYU and ASU, challenged UVSC in April to increase their own donations to the college. The challenge required each college within UVSC to set a fundraising goal. If that goal is met, the Fultons have agreed to match any donation to the college up to $1,000 per person.

    “We”ve already had several of the colleges surpass their goals,” Hale said. “We”re hoping they”ll all reach their goals. Most of them feel very confident right now.”

    This year is important to UVSC because the college has been trying to receive recognition as a state university.

    “Private funding is an important part to becoming a university,” Hale said.

    This is the first time the Fultons have donated to UVSC.

    “We are excited about the involvement of Ira and Mary Lou Fulton at UVSC,” said UVSC President William A. Sederburg. “I believe their efforts to involve our many stakeholders will change the fundraising culture in our campus for a long time to come.”

    Students have become involved in the fundraising efforts, challenging each other to donate to the college. Last March, during the “giving of the green” campaign, UVSC students donated enough pocket change to fund a full scholarship (UVSC”s current resident tuition is $1,654 per semester).

    Students aren”t the only ones getting involved either. Community members are showing their support for UVSC as well. Jeff Weissgerber, managing partner of Outback Steakhouse in Orem donated a 200-person lunch in July to help fundraising for the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Weissgerber donated another lunch Thursday benefiting the Connie Reynolds Memorial Dance Scholarship Fund.

    Giving is nothing new to the Fultons, who have donated millions to institutions of higher education. But it”s not just about the money.

    “It”s not how much you give,” Ira Fulton told UVSC”s “Sequel Magazine.” “It”s getting people involved in the spirit of giving that”s most important.”

    The Fulton”s have said that they”d rather see their corporate profits invested in tomorrow”s leaders than in Wall Street stocks.

    Donations to UVSC can be made online at www.uvsc.edu/giving.

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