June 30, 2006 – The University of Utah, thanks to the help of a generous challenge grant from philanthropists Ira A. and Mary Lou Fulton, has raised the necessary funds to restore the Block U. Work on the restoration project will begin immediately.
Including the Fulton challenge grant, and with a deadline for matching funds of June 30th, the campaign has raised $460,000 to restore the Block U, and also additional funds to help support a variety of scholarship programs. Contributions are still coming in and at last count it appears likely that in addition to funding the restoration project as much as $163,000 will be raised for scholarships. The Fultons matched pledges up to $1,000 per person and over 3,500 students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends have contributed various amounts to the campaign. With the successful completion of the Block U campaign, the University still encourages and welcomes additional gifts made to scholarship funds throughout campus.
The University is pleased to be able to preserve this 100 year-old symbol and source of pride for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Renovation work is scheduled to begin in July and be completed in time for the start of the football season. The support of donors and the generosity of the Fultons means no taxpayer funds or money earmarked for educational purposes will be used to complete the project.
Finally, the project will have a positive impact on the hillside and improve the surrounding environment. By constructing and applying a much needed drainage system, landscaping fabric, and vegetation, the University intends to better safeguard the hillside by controlling erosion. The lighting system which will be installed will enable the University to more effectively regulate the on and off times which will lessen the impact on neighbors. University administration believes that by doing all of this, the Block U will be a more attractive symbol of a healthy and sound University of Utah for generations to come.