An outpouring of philanthropic support from University of Northern Iowa alumni and friends has pushed the Our Tomorrow campaign closer to the university’s goal of raising $250 million by its sesquicentennial in 2026.
In a major milestone, 25,698 unique donors – more than a third of whom are first-time donors to UNI – have given $200 million since the start of the campaign.
“When we publicly launched the Our Tomorrow campaign last fall, we knew we had made great progress thanks to the generosity of the Panther community,” said Dave Takes, a 1981 UNI alumnus and campaign co-chair. “But we didn’t expect to be at this place in the campaign — just a few months later — sharing the news that we’ve surpassed the $200 million mark. This is an incredible accomplishment.”
“This campaign is first and foremost about the students and their future,” said Katie Mulholland, a three-time UNI graduate and campaign co-chair. “The Panther family has stepped up and sent a message that they believe in creating a brighter tomorrow for UNI students and the state of Iowa and beyond.”
“While this is cause for celebration, we still have much work ahead of us,” Takes added. "In order to finish strong and hit our campaign goal, we need each and every individual who makes up Panther Nation and believes in this great institution to become a part of Our Tomorrow and give back.”
Campaign contributions include $57.6 million raised toward a $70 million goal for student scholarships. A total of 379 new scholarships and 217 new endowments have been established since the start of the campaign. Nearly $53 million has been raised in support of academic programs and faculty.
Through the campaign, UNI seeks to renovate iconic campus spaces including the Campanile, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2026. Fifty-six bells, refurbished by the Cincinnati-based Verdin Company, are now set to return to UNI to be reinstalled in the Campanile in May. Ceremonies and photo opportunities will take place May 1 through May 5 at the Campanile Plaza, and the public is invited.
A $50 million campaign for the UNI-Dome is underway to support the most comprehensive renewal of the facility in the four decades since it opened. $14 million has been raised toward a $14.9 million renovation and expansion of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, with construction slated to begin later this year. $1.5 million has been raised toward the $2.2 million Campanile project.
Our Tomorrow: The Campaign for UNI aims to build the UNI tomorrow needs through philanthropic investments in every aspect of the campus experience. Campaign priorities are organized around four strategic pillars: student access and success, engaged learning, academic programs and faculty, and iconic spaces.