AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo College publicly launched its $45 million fundraising “Badger Bold” campaign on Wednesday. Joe Bill Sherrod, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, said students and faculty came together to celebrate the achievements of the campaign during its quiet phase and announce the plans for the campaign in the future.

Badger Bold will be AC’s first comprehensive campaign in the school’s 93-year history and AC president Russell Lowery-Hart said this is the perfect timing for the college to bring in new and bold change.

“I believe it is incumbent upon Amarillo College to foster a vibrant economic future across the full extent of our reach. Through “Badger Bold” we will empower our students and faculty to unleash their unlimited potential, generate the workforce of the future, attract the jobs of the future, and serve as a primary impetus for economic growth throughout our region,” said Lowery-Hart.

According to AC’s officials, the “Badger Bold” campaign will focus on initiatives which are student experience access and completion, faculty and staff development, and campus capital. Sherrod said the initiative for student experience can be seen through resources that encourage students to continue with school.

“So a great example of enhancing student experience will be creating access to education, to higher education. So that might be a scholarship, that might be assistance with food, housing, and areas where we know some of our students struggle. Removing barriers that will help them stay in school” said Sherrod.

Sherrod said the campaign has also improved faculty development through a donation from the Amarillo College Foundation. The donation of $250,000 allowed for the school to open a research scientist position. Under the capital initiative, the school was able to reinstate athletics this year at AC with its new Badger Volleyball building.

“Collectively, these initiatives will ensure that AC continues serving as a primary catalyst for creating jobs of the future and spurring vital economic growth at a pivotal time when artificial intelligence, robotics, and bioscience are fundamentally changing how we function and work,” said Lowery-Hart.

According to AC’s officials, during the quiet phase of the campaign, 70% of its goal was reached with six donations of $1 million or more. Amarillo Economic Development Corporation one of the contributors approved $3 million over the next five years to support AC’s new innovation outpost.

“The support for “Badger Bold” has been phenomenal and we are elated at this point. All forms of giving are impactful to the institution, from small gifts given year after year to major gifts and planned gifts, which denote Amarillo College as the beneficiary in a will,” said Sherrod.

Officials said that with “Badger Bold” now in the public phase it is now tasked with fundraising $12.5 million over the next three years in order to meet its goal of $45 million.

Sherrod said that he is both hopeful and optimistic that the foundation will reach the target goal.