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University of Alabama raises $360 million for capital campaign

TUSCALOOSA (AP) — The University of Alabama is nearing the three-quarters mark of its $500 million fundraising goal and is coming off a record-breaking year.

With five years down and two to go on its capital campaign, the university had collected $360 million through the end of January, or 72 percent of its target.

University President Robert Witt said the success of the fundraising campaign shows "people are proud of what they see at the university, and they have confidence in our ability to continue to make progress."

Witt announced the major fundraising campaign in April, making public an effort that began in 2002. When the campaign became public, Alabama had collected $299 million.

The fast pace of donations was helped by a record number of gifts to the university in fiscal year 2006. More than 50,000 people gave $108 million.

Witt and Tom Martz, vice president for advancement, said they are optimistic donations will eclipse the $500 million mark by June 2009, when the campaign is set to end.

There have been seven gifts larger than $5 million. The largest was $10 million given to athletics by trustee Paul Bryant Jr., said Pamela Parker, associate vice president for development and advancement.

Alabama officials said capital campaigns by Auburn University and the University of South Alabama have not hurt Alabama's effort.

The three universities announced their campaigns within months of each other.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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