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University of Houston launches Big 12 fundraising campaign

Head football coach Dana Holgorsen was the first to contribute to the campaign with a $1 million donation.
Credit: KHOU

HOUSTON — The University of Houston Athletics Department is launching a new fundraising campaign with a focus on "competitive excellence" in the Big 12 athletic conference.

The campaign, which is called "HOUSTON RISE," is intended to be an integral part of an initiative to push the university into the Top 50 schools in the public research institution.

Through the campaign, the school's athletics department hopes to address some priorities, such as the construction of a state-of-the-art facility that will be home to the football team.

Head football coach Dana Holgorsen was the first to contribute to the campaign with a $1 million donation.

“When I returned to the University of Houston nearly four years ago, I had a vision for what Cougar Football could become,” Holgorsen said. “We are getting there. We are coming off a 12-win season, excited about the prospects for this upcoming year, preparing to enter the Big 12 in 2023, and building one of the best football facilities in the country. Houston has been committed to me, and I am committed to Houston and, as part of that commitment, I am honored to do my part to help make the new operations building a reality."

The athletics department also aims to use funds from the campaign to modernize its Athletics-Alumni Center to be used by Houston's Olympic sports programs.

“President Khator has made it clear that we enter the Big 12 to win,” Athletics Vice President Chris Pezman said. “We need to elevate to a Power 5 standard to provide our coaches and student-athletes the tools they need to compete for championships in our new conference."

The campaign also hopes to grow the school's fan base.

“Through the years, we have been blessed by the amazing generosity of a strong core of ardent Cougars, but the time is now to diversify and grow our support base,” Senior Associate Athletics Director John Gladchuk said. “We owe it to the benefactors responsible for the foundation we stand on today to expand engagement and incentivize those currently on the sideline to rise and be counted.”

You can take part in the campaign through HOUSTON RISE's website. To learn more about HOUSTON RISE, you can reach out to the Cougar Pride Athletic Fund at cougarpride@uh.edu or by phone at 713-743-4684.

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