This winter we celebrate the highly successful conclusion of the Commitment to Learning campaign. Thanks to you and an encouragingly large number of your alumni colleagues, we raised more than $370 million, surpassing the campaign’s $350 million goal—the largest in the University’s history. That goal, by the way, was set last December when campaign totals topped $300 million, the original target set in 1993.
Over the course of these seven years, we have seen our capacity to provide scholarships, support excellent teaching, and improve academic facilities rise to gratifying levels. Scholarship gifts for outstanding students, for example, totaled more than $66 million. These funds not only increase our competitive advantage for the best students, but also significantly improve the intellectual climate of the campus as a whole.
I am particularly impressed that more than 46,000 donors participated in the Commitment to Learning campaign. That’s approximately 27 percent of the people we estimated would be able to make a gift during this period.
Giving levels were also up. The campaign attracted more than 70 gifts of $1 million or more; of these, 24 were for more than $2 million. Four gifts surpassed $6 million, including the Ruth Meyer estate of nearly $15 million, and a campaign wrap-up gift of $20 million from an anonymous trustee donor.
I am, of course, deeply grateful to the many people who made this possible—the donors of large and small gifts, alumni, parents, friends, and businesses—individuals and institutions that care about the University and its future. I am also grateful for the hard work so willingly given by our staff and faculty, whose efforts shaped this success.
This point, however, marks not a destination reached, but a milestone achieved. There is much more that can and will be done. We must narrow what I call our “aspiration gap,” the distance between our plans for a solid future and the resources we have so far.
So we celebrate the end of the Commitment to Learning campaign, even as we press forward in our effort to attract the kind of support that furthers our goal of becoming the nation’s leading student-centered research university. With your help, we will pass milestone after milestone of success.
Kenneth A. Shaw
Chancellor and President