UA community fundraises for Old Main
A bell rang out across campus on Tuesday, commemorating the first day of UA classes held in Old Main in 1891.
Students, faculty, staff and the community joined together for a fundraising event for Old Main, a fixture on campus for 122 years. At the “Save Old Main Kickoff” event the UA Mall, speakers shared their memories of Old Main and their hopes of reaching the $13.5 million funding goal.
“My decision to become a Wildcat began in Old Main,” said Brenda Puga, the vice president of Student Alumni Ambassadors and a journalism senior. “Knowing that the same students who began here ate, slept and studied in this building, and it’s still accessible to its current students these days, truly demonstrates that we’re Wildcats for life.”
Puga said she hopes the campus can raise enough funds to keep Old Main accessible, adding that she has been waiting four years to take her graduation photo on the steps of Old Main.
Grace Pierson / The Daily Wildcat UA President Anne Weaver Hart delivers a speech at the "Save Old Main KickOff" event on Tuesday.
At the event were photos of Old Main from years past, as well as boards where attendees could write their memories of the historical building. One note read, “I met my first friend at the fountain.”
Along with Puga, UA President Ann Weaver Hart and Tom Keating, alum and chair-elect of the UA Foundation’s Board of Directors, also spoke.
“The plan to repurpose this building and have much more interaction with students and parents is very, very exciting to me,” Keating said. He shared the story of announcing his engagement at Old Main and getting tossed into the Old Main fountain.
Thus far, $2 million of the funding goal has been raised. This is the first public broadcast launch of the campaign, and it is expected that more donors will step forward to help, said James H. Moore, current president and chief executive officer of the UA Foundation.
During her speech, Hart reflected on the former uses of Old Main and its importance to the UA campus.
“I want you to know our commitment to this university is past, present and future,” Hart said. “We want this building to be here for generations and generations of UA students to come.”
Chandler Wicke contributed reporting to this article.
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