Q. What is the Students First campaign?
A. Private support plays a critical role in the university’s ability to provide students with the finest faculty, facilities and financial support possible. The UNI Foundation’s “Students First” campaign will raise $100 million over the next four years for scholarship support, program support and facilities. More information can be found on the “Students First” website .

Q. What are the objectives of the Students First Campaign?

  1. To support the mission of the University to become one of the nation’s finest public comprehensive universities.
  2. To provide much needed support for our students in the form of financial aid.
  3. To promote program distinction by funding research, conferences, guest artists, lecturers, and endowed faculty positions.
  4. To enhance existing facilities and provide new facilities for our students, faculty and the greater Cedar Valley community.

Q. How were the priorities of the Campaign determined?
A. The campaign’s priorities were developed in consultation with UNI deans, department heads and directors and support the goals of UNI’s strategic plan.

Q. What are the fund-raising goals for the Campaign?
A. $100 million, which includes:

Q. Will the campaign raise money to replace funds cut from UNI’s State appropriation?
A. The Students First Campaign will not seek funding for costs, such as operating expenses that have traditionally been obligations of the State or supported by tuition. However, the funds raised by the Campaign for scholarships will provide important assistance to UNI students in the face of tuition increases.

Q. What is the timetable for the Students First Campaign?
A. Efforts to secure leadership and major gifts from alumni and friends throughout the nation have already begun and will continue throughout the Campaign. We are now securing leadership gifts ($100,000 and above) for the Campaign in the local area. The major gift portion of the Cedar Valley Drive took place during fall 2001. From 2002-2003, we will pursue fund-raising in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines. The Campaign will run through 2004. In its later stages, we will be asking all other UNI alumni to make commitments to the Campaign.

Q. Will people in the Cedar Valley be asked to support all aspects of the Students First Campaign?
A. We welcome Cedar Valley support for all the goals of the Students First Campaign. We anticipate that, just as support for the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center came chiefly from the Cedar Valley, so must support for our new sports arena, McLeodUSA Center – so we are asking the people of our home community to give special consideration to this project.

Q. Why is the Students First Campaign important for UNI and the Cedar Valley?
A. The University of Northern Iowa aspires to be the nation’s finest public comprehensive university, known for high quality learning environments and a genuine sense of community. The cornerstones of this vision are a campuswide culture of putting “Students First;” delivering excellence in teaching and learning; and working with Iowans to improve the quality of life on our campus, in our home community and in our state.

The Cedar Valley has benefited greatly from the presence of a strong, vital and committed university. The Students First Campaign will strengthen UNI’s service to the community through its students, faculty and programs. It will also create facilities — notably McLeodUSA Center and the Waterloo early childhood education center – that will directly benefit the community, just as the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center has done.

Q. How can we give to the Students First Campaign?
A. There are a variety of ways you can support the Campaign for the University of Northern Iowa, including:

Cash gift Pledge over a period of years
Appreciated securities Closely held stock with an established value
Personal Property Donation of real estate
Bequest Charitable gift annuity
Charitable remainder trust Charitable lead trust
Matching gifts through your or
your spouse’s employer

For more information on ways to give, click here.

Q. Why does UNI need McLeodUSA Center?
A. UNI has first-class facilities for football, swimming, tennis and track and field. The McLeodUSA Center will give us an excellent place for men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling and will give UNI students additional opportunities for team practice and year-round training facilities. The Center will enhance UNI’s ability to recruit student athletes and coaches. McLeodUSA Center will also give UNI additional space in which to hold other campus and community events. We expect the Center to become a campus focal point, a place for the community to join students, faculty, staff & alumni to support our teams and the university. To learn more about McLeodUSA Center, click here.

Q. How much will the Center cost?
A. The original goal for the center was $15 million, which would have been the minimum necessary to build the center. However, given the enthusiastic response of UNI alumni and friends for the McLeodUSA Center, the UNI Foundation has increased the goal for this project to $18 to $20 million. This amount will enable us to build the excellent arena that UNI’s students and community deserve.

Q. Will State dollars be appropriated to the McLeodUSA Center?
A. Typically, the State has not provided support for arenas at Iowa Regents universities, and we do not expect such support for McLeodUSA Center.

Q. Will there be naming opportunities in the McLeodUSA Center?
A. There will be many significant naming opportunities within the McLeodUSA Center for donors giving leadership gifts of $100,000 or greater. Additionally, there will be recognition in the lobby for donors of $5,000 or more.

For more information click here.

Q. How will McLeodUSA Center benefit the Cedar Valley and Iowa?
A. Like the UNI-Dome, McLeodUSA Center will offer space for sporting and academic events, such as regional and state competitions, sports camps, and science fairs, for young people from the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area and throughout the state. Not only will McLeodUSA Center itself provide additional space for events, but it will also free the UNI-Dome for large community and university events such as trade shows, national, state, and regional high school and college sporting events, sports camps, and concerts.

We estimate that McLeodUSA Center will enable UNI to schedule events generating an additional 250,000 – 275,000 “visitor days” per year and producing a community economic impact of $15 – 20 million per year.

Q. How far has planning progressed for the McleodUSA Center?
A. The University has retained an architect to develop conceptual drawings of the interior and exterior of the facility. A comprehensive study of the west campus has been conducted to determine the best location for the McLeodUSA Center. Groundbreaking will be determined by our success in fund-raising, but could occur as soon as summer 2003.