Lora Bremer is the executive director of major gifts and campaign planning for the NC State Engineering Foundation. Among her many duties is leading the College’s fundraising efforts for the Engineering Building Oval (EB Oval) project.*
What is the EB Oval project and why do we keep talking about it?
EB Oval is the realization of engineering education for the 21st century. It will be the new home to the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering; the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; and a large portion of the dean’s administrative programs. EB Oval will move us closer to unifying the College on Centennial Campus and will provide students and faculty members with an atmosphere unmatched anywhere in the nation, one that will foster and facilitate innovation in research and education through partnership opportunities.
How much money has been raised? How much more do we need?
This is the first time in the University’s history that we are charged with raising private funds for a building and, so far, we have had a positive response. With a $154 million total project cost, the State of North Carolina provided $77 million through budget allocation for design and the Connect NC Bond provided funds for construction. The University is contributing $17 million, and to date we have raised more than $25 million in gifts, pledges and verbal commitments.
Are there any perks to making a donation?
We are developing a schedule of naming opportunities to recognize alumni, corporations and friends who make lead philanthropic commitments. In addition to actual named spaces available for our Cornerstone Society donors, all donors of $50,000 or more will be recognized on a permanent display wall, as well as a virtual donor recognition display showing the donor’s story. They will receive personalized EB Oval hard hats and will be invited on exclusive hard hat tours and to other special events.
Not everyone can write a check for millions of dollars. Are donations at lower giving levels going to make a difference?
We understand that not everyone can make a gift in the Cornerstone Society, which starts at $100,000 and goes up through the naming of the building. In January, Dean Louis Martin-Vega and his wife, Maggie, decided that they, too, wanted to support the project and give others an opportunity to show their support. This fueled the idea of the Dean’s EB Oval Club and opened the opportunity for gifts between $50,000 and $100,000. As with all of our fundraising efforts, we like to encourage our young alums, 10-15 years out, to participate so we rolled out the Dean’s Young Alumni EB Oval Club, which allows our younger alums to support EB Oval with gifts of $25,000.
Besides making a monetary contribution, how else can alumni help support the College?
Recruit our students and offer internships and co-ops. Sponsor and speak at student group meetings and support senior design projects. Guest lecture for classes and invite students to visit corporate offices and demonstrations of equipment and software used in your business. Volunteer to be a mentor to students or volunteer for departmental boards and committees. There are so many ways to help. Call us. We are happy to get you connected.
*[Editor’s Note: The Engineering Building Oval (EB Oval) was renamed Fitts-Woolard Hall on April 20, 2018, at the groundbreaking ceremony.]