UF’s Board of Trustees officially put their support behind Gainesville becoming the “New American City.”
The board unanimously approved a motion during a Friday meeting to support UF’s Strategic Development Plan, which looks to transform the city and the UF community over the course of 50 years.
Some of the ideas of the plan include expanding cultural areas at UF, establishing a start-up business culture and creating more buildings in areas around Newell Drive and West University Avenue, according to Alligator archives.
The board also approved a contract between the university and graduate assistants, as well as the concept of bond to build a parking garage on Museum Road. It will need to be approved by the Florida Board of Governors.
Funding for the development plan will come from UF’s funding campaign, which is aiming to raise $3 billion. Anita Zucker, a trustee, announced the campaign for funding has secured $897 million.
She added that donors Andrew and Pamela Banks have confirmed they will be giving a $30 million endowment to go to UF faculty and students.
Zucker encouraged the board members to help the campaign, adding that 54 percent of the board members have already contributed. Trustee Mori Hosseini encouraged them to take part.
“I think sitting here today, we as the board members are to make that commitment ourselves,” he said. “We’re committed, and we will do what we can because it starts from us.”
UF President Kent Fuchs said raising the money needed won’t be easy.
“This $3 billion campaign is not only truly transformational for the university, but it is truly a leadership campaign in our nation,” he said. “To stretch as an institution and to stretch as individuals, that’s how we achieve our goals.”