IN a powerful statement about the community's belief in the transformational impact of higher education, the University of The Bahamas President's Gala Soirée has exceeded the anticipated fundraising target.
The inaugural event was the institution's first major fundraiser since transitioning to a university. The soirée paired excellence with elegance as sponsors and donors joined the UB community at the Harry C Moore Library and Information Centre. The occasion also commemorated the first anniversary of UB, which was chartered on November 10, 2016.
UB President Dr Rodney Smith, who also observed the first anniversary of his inauguration as UB president, thanked the many corporate sponsors, donors, friends, alumni and UB constituents who helped to make the fundraiser overwhelmingly successful.
"We have exceeded the goal of $500,000 in cash and pledges for the endowed scholarship fund to support first-generation university students," he said in a press release. "These funds will benefit and change the lives of thousands of students, and by extension, families and entire communities. This is the beginning of the next phase in the growth and development of the Bahamian people, through access to education."
Major sponsors for the gala included Aliv, Sharon Wilson & Co, IL Cares, Doctors Hospital, Ernst & Young, Credit Suisse and New Providence Development Company Ltd.
While celebrating the success of the soirée, Mr Smith nonetheless invited private and corporate donors to continue supporting UB.
"The university still needs the generous support of all corporate donors. Our goal is to raise this endowed fund to well over $5m. We cannot do this without the annual contributions of alumni, sponsors, donors and the many friends of the university. Please continue to give to the university and give as generously as you can. One donation will change a life and a community," Dr Smith pointed out.
Student Government Association (SGA) President Stuart Hanna was also pleased that corporate and private donors are supporting student scholarships.
"As a result of a successful soirée, capable young Bahamians will be given an opportunity to obtain tertiary education at University of The Bahamas. These kinds of fundraising events bring immeasurable value to the advancement of the university, its students and the Bahamian society at large and show that the university is moving in the right direction," said Mr Hanna.
Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Affairs Davinia Blair said that the level of partnership and support from corporate Bahamas for the soirée was encouraging as the institution becomes a stronger university.
"The overwhelming demonstration of support by faculty, staff, alumni, corporate partners and friends at the gala truly touched the hearts of many, in particular our students, who will benefit from the endowment. I am grateful for the stellar partnership with Fusion IMC and Events by Alexandra to accomplish this feat. Also, I am thankful to all of our donors and am confident of a promising path ahead for our nation," Ms Blair said.