Arizona NOW Celebrates a Successful Year

UA Foundation, Taylor Noel photo

In April 2014, the University of Arizona publicly launched Arizona NOW, the largest and most ambitious fundraising campaign in the UA’s history with the goal of raising $1.5 billion in support of students and innovative thinkers and to further the UA’s reach. Everyone anticipated success, but no one imagined that one year later we would already have raised nearly $1.2 billion. 

The campaign’s origins grew from the appreciation that the UA is delivering today what the world needs now. We’re not only making promises for the future — we’re taking action. Donors are stepping up in recognition of this fact. 

The campaign’s success has been driven by alumni and friends of the University who have given generously. In fact, about 28,000 alumni have made gifts and donors have established more than 650 endowment funds. That’s reason to celebrate!

Here are highlights of gifts we’ve received and ways in which they’re benefiting the University and our communities.


What would motivate a Los Angeles real estate mogul to give tens of millions of dollars to the College of Fine Art’s School of Music, aspiring to see it become the finest in the world? In a word: love.  
Alan Fox and his wife, Daveen, gave $20 million to the School of Music in honor of Alan’s 100-year-old father, master teacher and legendary French horn player Fred Fox. The Foxes’ connection to the UA is through associate professor of music Daniel Katzen, who is a former student of Fred Fox’s.

If this is no ordinary gift, Alan Fox is no ordinary son. He is founder and president of real estate investment firm ACF Property Management and author of several books on building relationships, creating joy, and finding happiness. 

Even though Fred Fox has played the French horn for more than 50 years he is “always, always thinking about how to do it better,” says his son. “He’s an amazing teacher and I think that should be recognized.”

Considered a legend in his field, Fred Fox is sharp — and still teaching. Trained at the Juilliard School, he has performed as a solo horn player with the National Symphony, the Minneapolis Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Paramount and RKO studios in Hollywood. 

In his honor, and with gratitude for the gift, the UA’s music school has been renamed the Fred Fox School of Music.

“The Tucson community and arts patrons locally, regionally, and nationally will enjoy the fruits of this remarkable support,” says College of Fine Arts Dean Jory Hancock.

The School of Music, which has offered instruction since the late 1800s, is the academic home to more than 500 students. Its music graduates have gone on to international careers as educators, recording artists, industry professionals, and more. This is the second time in five years that it has received a major philanthropic gift from a music enthusiast. In 2012, the late Sanford Bolton endowed more than $3 million to support the Sanford and Phyllis Bolton Guitar Studies Program, one of the nation’s top classical guitar programs.

Music education builds students’ minds and requires total concentration, says Fred Fox, who recently taught a master class on campus. 

“The end result will be that they will be more effective at whatever they choose to do,” he says. “I am very happy to have my name associated with such a wonderful music school and look forward to great things from the students enrolled there.”


Thanks to Arizona NOW, the Eller College of Management is closer to building a center to serve business students seeking to polish their professional skills before entering the workforce.  

A two-story expansion to the existing Eller College building, the $5 million Professional Development Center will bring greater synergy to Eller’s existing professional services and programs. Today, the college is a step closer to turning the center into a reality, thanks to a $1.5 million gift from Eller alumni and Karl and Stevie Eller.

The Professional Development Center will introduce a “seed to shelf” model, bringing career placement and training in-house to address the needs of business majors. Imagine a space where students could meet with recruiters, peer-edit resumes, or practice mock interviews. Eller’s coaching staff would guide those weighing career or academic options and share their own experiences as entrepreneurs and professionals. 

Students are already benefiting from the programming. For example, finance senior Melissa Rose says she landed with Goldman Sachs thanks to the recruiting program efforts. As well, Rose says she was introduced to a number of UA alumni employed at other Wall Street banks. Now she has burgeoning relationships and a leg up on the competition even before her diploma is in hand. 

Once the center is complete, the success stories are anticipated to multiply. Even more self-possessed, confident job seekers will emerge with the training and skills necessary to land top-tier jobs.

For more information on the Professional Development Center, or to make a gift, visit   


James C. Wyant, professor emeritus and founding dean of the College of Optical Sciences, gave $10 million in endowed scholarship funds — the largest scholarship gift in the UA’s history. In a four-to-one match, donors contributed another $2.5 million to the endowed optics scholarships.  


A $5 million gift from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation is challenging philanthropists to match one-to-one its support for neuroscience research at the McKnight Brain Research Institute.


A foundational gift of $9 million from the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation supports the state’s first public veterinary medical and surgical program to train doctors of veterinary medicine.


A $50 million gift from the Agnese Nelms Haury estate is one of the largest in  the University’s history. It will support scientific and cultural studies rooted in the environment and social justice, especially in the American Southwest.


Alumni Steve and Margot Kerr committed $1 million to assist with the McKale Center renovation and future academic facility enhancements. Longtime supporters I. Michael and Beth Kasser also committed $1 million to Arizona Athletics as a naming gift for the sports medicine center in the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility.


UA alumnus and letter winner Douglas Allred committed $1 million to Arizona Athletics and the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, challenging members of the Wildcat Club to a one-to-one match.  


Bruce and Patricia Bartlett gave $1 million to the precision health program in the Arizona Health Sciences Center, funding that will create a  large clinical data set with individual genetic information to gain a deeper understanding of a person’s health and nuanced aspects of disease.


Richard F. Caris’ gift of $20 million to the Giant Magellan Telescope project in Chile ensures the UA’s commitment to one of the world’s leading astronomical endeavors. 


A commitment of $3.5 million from Shamrock Foods and its chairman, alumnus Norm McClelland, will help the Eller College of Management attract and retain outstanding teachers and researchers. 


The John Templeton Foundation awarded $2.9 million to the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom to help the center build a network of philosophy, politics and economics — or PPE — programs spanning several universities and four continents, among other publishing and education initiatives.