University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
April 23, 2009
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6360
Campaign Leadership

University of South Alabama Raises $93.5 Million in First
Comprehensive Fund-Raising Drive
Tops $75 Million Goal by 25 Percent
Dr. Joseph Busta at Podium
Dr. Joseph F. Busta, Jr., USA vice president for development and alumni relations, addresses a crowd of more than 700 students, faculty and staff at a campus celebration marking the conclusion of the University of South Alabama's first comprehensive fund-raising campaign, which resulted in more than $93.5 million for USA programs, faculty, students and construction. Joining Busta at the podium for remarks were USA President Gordon Moulton, right, and alumnus James A. "Jim" Yance, Campaign USA chairman and vice chair of the USA Board of Trustees.

University of South Alabama officials today concluded the institution’s first comprehensive fund-raising campaign by announcing that the five-year effort generated more than $93.5 million, exceeding its goal of $75 million by 25 percent.

Funds raised through “Campaign USA” will support the University’s teaching, research, health care and service missions, providing resources for undergraduate and graduate scholarships, faculty chairs and professorships, classroom and laboratory equipment, health care enhancements, and facilities and capital improvements throughout the institution. More than 22,000 donors gave a total of 44,000 individual gifts to the campaign.

“The University of South Alabama appreciates every gift and effort made to support this historic first comprehensive campaign, especially the committed involvement of the Campaign USA Leadership Team,” said USA President Gordon Moulton.

“The proceeds of Campaign USA will provide a greater margin of excellence for the University’s teaching, research, health care, and service programs, enhancing the institution’s ability to provide greater educational opportunities, advanced health care, a stronger economy, and a higher quality of life for all.”

Led by USA alumnus and local attorney James A. “Jim” Yance, Campaign USA was supported by a Leadership Team of volunteers from across the nation.

“Of the University of South Alabama’s many contributions to society, none has been more important and profound than improving the lives of our individual citizens,” said Yance, who also serves as vice chair of the USA Board of Trustees. “Campaign USA is a major investment toward enhancing USA’s leadership, and it’s already paying substantial dividends that will lead to the betterment of our community. Our Leadership Team worked tirelessly on behalf of the students, faculty and staff of our University, and, together with more than 22,000 donors, they have made Campaign USA a success.”

USA Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Steven Stokes said, “The University educates our workforce, creates new knowledge that touches our lives, boosts our economy and creates quality jobs, enriches our culture, and provides advanced health care for our citizens. The entire Board of Trustees, representing the citizens of Alabama, is gratified by the success of Campaign USA, which will forever raise the level of excellence in all endeavors of the University.”

USA Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Dr. Joseph F. Busta, Jr., said the success of the campaign reflected the belief of the region’s citizens and the University’s alumni that private investment in USA will better enable the University to enhance the quality of life for all citizens.  

“For years, the University has been a leader in vital educational, research and health care issues,” Busta said. “Now, in response to both University and regional needs, our inaugural comprehensive campaign, through the investment of thousands of businesses and citizens, has further demonstrated that USA can provide comprehensive leadership for the northern Gulf Coast, thus securing USA’s leadership position for the region.”

Crowd Shot
USA students, faculty and staff in the University's amphitheater watch as a banner revealing the final amount raised during Campaign USA is unfurled from the Student Center balcony. More than 22,000 donors contributed to the campaign, many of whom were USA employees.

Campaign USA’s largest gift came from the Mitchell family of Mobile.  Business partners and brothers Abraham and Mayer Mitchell, and Mayer’s wife, Arlene, donated $22 million toward the University’s cancer research institute. The USA Board of Trustees named the Mitchell Cancer Institute in their honor.

Major results of Campaign USA include funds for:

  • construction and endowment of the Mitchell Cancer Institute;

  • addition of the Joseph and Rebecca Mitchell Learning Resource Center and classroom renovations to the Mitchell College of Business;

  • construction of the Bell Tower and Alumni Plaza;

  • major support for USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital and the USA Children’s Park; and

  • creation of a major endowment fund for scholarships throughout the University.  

Major categories of giving include:

  • $22 million to USA’s endowment, representing 220 new endowments. This includes several multi-million dollar research funds at the Mitchell Cancer Institute, support for Meisler Hall, Christee Miree National Alumni Association Outstanding Employee Service Awards and faculty chairs to attract and retain outstanding faculty.

  • $20 million in program support, including unique academic programs such as the Melton Center for Entrepreneurship, Coastal Weather Research Center, Stokes Center for Creative Writing, and the Greek Studies Program; vital health care programs, such as the USA Burn Center at the USA Medical Center and USS Hope children’s oncology treatment center at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital; and campus quality-of-life program improvements, including funds for the football and marching band programs.

  • $12 million for capital projects, including the Mitchell Cancer Institute, the Bell Tower and Alumni Plaza, the Alfred and Lucile Delchamps Archaeology Building, renovation of classrooms and offices in the Mitchell College of Business, and 15 new works of sculpture at USA Children’s Park.

  • $5.4 million in unrestricted funds to allow USA the ability to capitalize on rapidly developing opportunities and meet unexpected challenges.

During its five-year run, Campaign USA generated 26 gifts of $1 million or more; 88 gifts of $500,000 or more; 311 gifts of $100,000 or more; and 3,046 gifts of $5,000 or more. Also, 34 donors have been added to the Legacy Society by including USA in their estate plans.

Campaign USA Banner Unfurled
From left, USA students Katy Stembridge, Stormy Lord, Alan Waugh and Meredith Davis applaud after they reveal the Campaign USA total to a crowd at the picnic celebration.

The University of South Alabama

Since its founding in 1963, the University of South Alabama has been one of Alabama’s fastest growing universities, currently enrolling more than 14,000 students in a wide range of academic programs in Allied Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Mitchell College of Business, Computer and Information Sciences, Continuing Education and Special Programs, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The University has awarded 63,740 degrees.

In addition to teaching and research, USA is one of the largest health care providers in the Mobile region, with its faculty physicians and two hospitals – USA Children’s & Women’s and USA Medical Center ­­– involved in more than a quarter million patient encounters annually. USA is also home to the Mitchell Cancer Institute, the first academic cancer research institute in the upper Gulf Coast region.

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