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Alumni and friends show support for the U
From eNews, December 4, 2003
After witnessing the effects of the state's $185 million budget reduction on the University of Minnesota, the U's Legislative Network ramped up its efforts this fall. On Tuesday, a representative from the group delivered a petition signed by nearly 6,500 alumni and friends to Governor Pawlenty, asking him to invest in the U. In addition to the online petition campaign, the Legislative Network launched a five-day letter-writing campaign on Monday with the goal of generating 5,000 letters from University advocates to legislators. The letters ask legislators to support the U's 2004 capital request. (You can submit a letter at http://umn.e-actionmax.com/showalert.asp?aaid=465.) "Funding for the U is the best investment legislators can make, even when dollars are scarce and demands are acute," says Margaret Carlson, University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) executive director. The UMAA sponsors the Legislative Network, which advocates to state policy makers on behalf of the University. According to Carlson, the U is a cornerstone of the state's economy. It trains a majority of the state's healthcare professionals and much of the state's workforce. Last year, it received $600 million in public funding, which yielded nearly $10 billion in state economic activity. "That's a 16-fold return on the state's investment in the U," she says. "When the state supports the U, it is supporting all Minnesotans--today and tomorrow." 2004 is a bonding year when funds are designated by the state legislature for buildings and capital projects. The University is 152 years old, and many of its classroom and research facilities are more than 70 years old. Projects in the U's $155 million capital request will improve the health and safety of its buildings and, therefore, strengthen the student experience. To learn more about the Legislative Network or the U's capital request, see http://www.supporttheU.umn.edu. For information about the UMAA, which is celebrating 100 years, http://www.alumni.umn.edu.