AUSTIN, TX — For 2,400 minutes starting at early Wednesday, April 4, alumni, students, faculty members, staffers and friends of The University of Texas at Austin will come together to support the people, places and programs that mean the most to them.
It’s called "40 Hours for the Forty Acres," a real-time giving campaign (40for40.utexas.edu), launched at 6 a.m. today and ends at 10 p.m. on April 5. The acreage reference alludes to the size of the expansive campus.
The campaign has raised more than $10 million since the annual fundraising event launched five years ago, university officials said. The initiative yields a unique opportunity for people connected to the university to rally and make a gift to support their passions such as scholarships, student organizations, faculty research, athletics, arts and humanities or other areas of the university, the university’s president said.
"40 Hours for the Forty Acres provides the UT community with a remarkable opportunity to join together in support of our university," President Gregory L. Fenves said in a prepared statement. "The pride and enthusiasm generated during these 40 hours exemplifies the spirit and dedication of Longhorn Nation."
Throughout the giving campaign, numerous giving challenges and matching gifts will create excitement and "incentivize" participation, according to a university press advisory. For example, the university will offer four $10,000 matching gifts during campaign "power hours" along with faculty and staff gift matches, officials noted. Challenge funds in support of the campaign were donated by the university’s Development Board.
Last year, more than 5,500 members of Longhorn Nation supported scores of campus initiatives during 40 for Forty. Participation has grown dramatically as philanthropy has become an increasingly important part of funding excellence at UT Austin.
Daniel Bacic, a biomedical engineering student who graduates this year, conveyed his gratitude for the program in supporting his passion: "Being a part of the Longhorn Band for four years has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Every member of the band is immensely thankful for our 40 for Forty donors who help sustain this great Texas tradition. My UT experience has been richer because of it."
To get involved with 40 Hours for the Forty Acres and make a gift, visit 40for40.utexas.edu or follow UT Austin on Facebook or Twitter.
>>> Image courtesy of University of Texas at Austin, used with permission