The Meliora Challenge is the University of Rochester's historic $1.2 billion comprehensive campaign. The launch of the public phase was announced by President Joel Seligman on October 21, 2011. By then, over $759 million had been raised from donors, including Tom Golisano. The nucleus ("quiet") phase was in fact begun in 2005, at the start of Seligman's administration.
The University plans to have the $1.2 billion raised by June 2016. As the first fundraising campaign to involve the entire University of Rochester - from the Eastman School of Music to the Medical Center - its priorities are reflected in the four tenets of UR's mission: learn, discover, heal, and create.
Learn: This covers endeavors to enlarge UR's overall endowment, as well as increase the scholarships available to both graduate and undergraduate students. It includes the new Raymond F. LeChase Hall, currently under construction, which will house the Warner School of Education. There are also plans to purchase more materials for the UR libraries, support new programs such as studies in global issues and digital media, and improve athletic and fitness facilities.
Discover: This consists of investment in endowed professorships, establishing a Center for Energy Research and Education (which will seek alternative sources of energy and help create national policy), supporting research in massive computing power, the construction of a new science and engineering building, and the strengthening of the Simon Graduate School of Business Administration.
Heal: This includes plans for a new, dedicated children's hospital, as well as expanded research within the Wilmot Cancer Center, the Aab Cardiovascular Research Center, and the Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute.
Create: This includes a new Center for Music Innovation at the Eastman School, funding for a new sculpture park and other improvements at the Memorial Art Gallery, investments in faculty and encouragement of entrepreneurial collaboration in the fields of entrepreneurship and technology transfer, a new Media Arts and Innovation Center, and support for the arts on the River Campus.
The Meliora Challenge is not simply limited to the above, however — in fact, these initiatives only represent a sample of what is possible.
Donors will be sought from the UR community near and far - alumni, employees, students, faculty, and anyone else with a connection to UR. Foundations and corporations will also be approached. Strategies include one-on-one conversations with potential donors, plus public appeals.
The name "Meliora Challenge" comes from the University of Rochester's motto, "Meliora," which is Latin for "Ever Better."