ULM reaches new heights, almost to $55 million goal

Even though the wind drew the curtain before President Bruno revealed it, the excitement of the surprise announcement did not lessen.

As the faculty, students and alumni gathered in Scott Plaza, Bruno announced that the SOAR Campaign had reached its 70 percent threshold.

The ULM Alumni Association, ULM Athletic Foundation, band and cheerleaders accompanied the announcement.

The campaign aims to reach $55.4 million by 2018 and, so far, $38.8 million has been raised. Bruno thanked the donors for their generous support.

Susan Hoffmann, president of the ULM Foundation, said that the success of the collection lies in the team efforts of the administration, faculty, staff and the leadership of the ULM Foundation.

Hoffmann further illustrated that SOAR is an acronym that not only elucidates a positive, upward movement, but also for four initiatives of the campaign: “Students Succeed,” “Opportunities Educate,” “Athletics Achieve” and “Renovations Build.”

Daisy Morris, a freshman marketing and Spanish major from Kansas, spoke about “Students Succeed.” She said that the Top Hawks fund has personally benefited her and made her journey “awesome, so far.”

Susan Lacey spoke about the opportunities that endowed professorship and what chairs can do for organizations.

Alec Osborne, a student athlete and graduate student, talked about athletics and the outcomes of the contributions.

Osborne thanked the donors for their support and said, “the field house is remarkable, and it will go a long way.”

Sophomore art major Kalie Finies spoke about renovation. She said that seeing the International Student Center had a big impact on her decision to choose ULM.

“It had a big kitchen, while the dorm did not have a kitchen,” Finies said. “I celebrated one of my birthdays there.”

The SOAR campaign was started in 2013 to generate funds that support students, faculty, athletics and renovations around campus.