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Before a crowd of nearly 600 top donors, the University of Central Florida celebrated the public launch of a $500 million fundraising campaign Friday night, supporting students, faculty members and special projects such as UCF Downtown.

Among the gifts recognized at the IGNITE campaign launch was a $7 million gift from Dr. Phillips Charities for UCF Downtown, which increases total community support for the campus to $21 million.

This means UCF can now access the $20 million in state funding to construct a new academic building for about 7,700 UCF and Valencia College students.

Dr. Phillips Charities had previously committed $3 million to the project, but announced its additional $4 million in support during the Friday event.

“Our original contribution was a good start, but when we further considered the transformational impact UCF Downtown will have on Orlando, we wanted to help solidify the project,” Dr. Philips Charities CEO Kenneth Robinson told the Orlando Business Journal.

“We are so proud of how much the community, particularly Dr. Phillips, has invested in this vision,” said UCF Downtown Vice Provost Thad Seymour, Jr. “Raising the $20 million in community support is a critical milestone for the project – and one that we’re thrilled to have achieved.”