The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) has announced the biggest fundraising campaign in its history, part of the groundbreaking "Victors for Michigan" campaign launched by the University on November 8, 2013. SMTD will seek to raise $90 million over the course of the five-year campaign, with 50 percent of the total to be allocated for scholarship support.
The effort supports the University's overall goal of raising $4 billion to enhance U-M's world-class education and research. It is not only the biggest fundraising campaign in the institution's history, but the most ambitious ever launched at a public university.
"This campaign will help us achieve our vision for the future-an ambitious plan that builds on our position among the top schools of music, theatre, and dance in the nation," said Dean Christopher Kendall. "It aspires to new levels of achievement in excellence and engagement and will have a transformative impact on the lives of our students for generations to come."
SMTD announced its financial and strategic goals for the campaign on November 8 at a celebratory event at the Walgreen Drama Center on North Campus. The event featured performances by students, representing nearly every performance discipline in the School, as well as student speakers from multiple departments including those of music theory, music education, and performing arts technology.
The School also announced that 50 percent of the total goal has already been achieved during the silent phase of the campaign.
Scholarship support is cited as being the number one priority for the School's campaign. "We are dedicated to providing financial support to every student who needs it," said Kendall. "This will ensure that the most gifted students can enroll, regardless of means, and will allow us to compete with our peer institutions to bring those students here and graduate them without the burden of unsupportable student loan debt."
The other half of SMTD's fundraising goal will go towards several strategic areas of support, which include:
- "Academic and Creative Excellence," prioritizing support of the School's celebrated faculty, including an emphasis on endowing professorships and chairs; developing new curriculums and interdisciplinary studies; and supporting emerging technologies in the performing arts.
- "Engagement," covering a vast spectrum of initiatives that encourage and support students in using their skills to connect with and enhance the community.
- "Entrepreneurship," building upon existing programs and technologies to equip students with a broad foundation for merging their artistic and academic excellence with business acumen.
- And "Creative Capacity," to create the best possible facilities. This critical area seeks to complete fundraising for the renovation and expansion of the Earl V. Moore Building, which commences in winter 2014 and was launched by leadership gifts from William and Dolores Brehm and Professor Emeritus Glenn Watkins. In addition, the School is committed to securing support for a new dance building on North Campus, to provide dance students with state-of-the-art facilities and to bring all students in close proximity to one another to facilitate frequent and vibrant collaboration.
"With the help of our devoted alumni and friends of the School and the University, we will ensure that SMTD remains among the most prestigious, dynamic, and forward-thinking schools in the nation," said Kendall.
For more information on the "Victors for Michigan" campaign or to explore giving opportunities, vist SMTD's Alumni & Donors web pages.