I am pleased to report that your University is in excellent shape as the millennium approaches. Signs of our success include the increasing quality of each new class, our growing national and international reputation, and our faculty's extraordinary scholarship and devotion to teaching, among many other things.
We are fully aware that we have reached this point thanks to the good wishes and generous support of people like you. With $250 million in hand as of the first of the year, we have every confidence that we will exceed the $300 million goal of the Commitment to Learning campaign well before the year 2000 target date. And that confidence enables us to believe that our vision to become the nation's leading student-centered research university is well within sight.
What comes next? Securing the future comes next. Certainly this campaign will add a great deal to our endowment and reserves. We estimate that by 2000 we will realize about $40 million annually from these funds. This will add 10 percent or more to our annual operating budget. Thus we are truly a nationally competitive university, ranking among the top 50 in the U.S. News & World Reportpolls. Naturally, we must do more. What if we had sufficient secured resources from which to add 15 percent more to our operating budget? We'd have about $60 million in additional funds to use and would join the ranks of very competitive national universities. More important, we would have the resources to fund initiatives like an improved library, an enhanced learning environment, and faculty and staff development that we know will propel us many steps forward toward our vision. And we won't stop there. With an $80 million endowment providing us with 20 percent of our annual operating budget, we'd become a highly competitive university.
You and I have good reason to be pleased with our present state of affairs, and the University has ample cause for gratitude for all you have done to get us here. Nevertheless, the best Syracuse University is yet to be, and you have every right to expect us to continue to get better. I also know you will help us make it so.
Kenneth A. Shaw
Chancellor and President