USI President Linda L. M. Bennett said, "A major objective of the campaign is to elevate, deepen, and enrich the experience of our students and the reputation of this institution." Generous alumni and friends already have invested $26.1 million in USI through gifts and commitments during the early phase of the campaign, achieving more than half of the campaign goal. "Alumni, friends, and companies in this region and beyond are making financial investments in USI because they believe in this institution's ability to transform lives through higher education," said David A. Bower, president of the USI Foundation. "These generous people know the excellence of this University. When they hear USI, they know it is high quality at every level."
The Path to Excellence
Beginning as a dream to provide the citizens of Southwest Indiana with access to high-quality, affordable higher education, USI has flourished and has become a leader in higher education in Indiana, a driver of economic development, and a builder of community spirit.
The University has been a model for student-centered postsecondary education, delivering, as its founders promised, high-quality teaching at the most affordable cost among baccalaureate-granting institutions in Indiana.
At the same time, USI has been deeply engaged in the community, ensuring economic and workforce development and performing vital applied research, which has transformed the region. Its work in community engagement and commitment to progress earned it the prestigious Carnegie Foundation “Engaged University” distinction in 2008.
USI’s reputation for strong teaching continues to attract exceptionally qualified students from Indiana and beyond— drawing students from all 50 states and more than 60 nations.
A Challenge in the Present
Although USI is a state-assisted institution, it doesn’t receive all of its funding from the state. Many projects the state will not consider for funding and, in recent years, Indiana has expected that a substantial portion of all new capital projects come from institutionally developed gifts.
Moreover, state budget cuts for higher education funding have forced increases in the student share of attending college. Students now provide 40 percent of University revenues, compared to 32 percent 10 years ago.
USI’s founders recognized how an investment in higher education would produce a better-educated citizenry and a more vibrant region and state. Just as that investment was needed in 1965, it is needed today to ensure that USI continues to be a place of excellence that fosters innovation, engagement, and opportunities for individuals and communities in Southern Indiana and beyond.