Campaign soars past goal in final month
Spurred by Chicago-area philanthropists, donors have exceeded the goal of the University of Chicago's Campaign for the Next Century, garnering for student aid, research support and new facilities the most money ever raised in a campaign in the history of the city of Chicago. In an outpouring of support that recalled the founding of the institution more than 100 years ago, Chicagoans contributed nearly half of the $676 million raised in the five-year effort.
"Our alumni and friends have brought us to a new era," said President Sonnenschein, "in which they insist that Chicago have the resources to do the very best, most important and most necessary work. The remarkable growth in their support is what is needed to maintain a university of such exceptional quality. It is also a foundation on which we intend to build still greater achievements in teaching and discovery."
The Campaign for the Next Century was launched during the University's centennial celebration in 1991 with an initial goal of $500 million. But the record-breaking success achieved in its first three and one-half years led the trustees in February 1995 to raise the goal to $650 million without increasing the campaign's duration.
The $676 million raised over the last five years compares to just $351 million raised during the five years immediately before the campaign. From a total of $79 million raised in the year before the campaign began, gifts in fiscal year 1994 surpassed $100 million for the first time in the University's history. In 1995 they reached $108 million, and this year they set another record, reaching $132 million.
Student aid was one of the three major priorities of the campaign, and the $50 million raised from all sources exceeded the Campaign's $46.5 million goal for student aid. The success in raising money for student aid is especially important, Sonnenschein said, "to ensure that the most outstanding students can continue to aspire to the extraordinary education offered at Chicago, whatever their financial circumstances."
The other two major priorities of the Campaign were endowment for faculty support, for which donors have provided $86 million, and new campus facilities, for which they have given $103 million. Sonnenschein noted that a new athletic center, which was made a priority of the Campaign only in its last year, still requires millions of dollars in gifts and has become a priority of the University's continuing fundraising.
In addition, more than $300 million was raised in expendable funds to support research by faculty and students, the University's libraries and the University's various academic programs. Funds were also raised for special program endowments and the University's general use.
Several donors helped to energize the Campaign by making gifts of $10 million or more. The Richard Duchossois family gave $21 million to help create the University's new Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine; Mr. and Mrs. Jules F. Knapp gave $10 million to support the creation of the Jules F. Knapp Medical Research Center and the Gwen Knapp Center for Lupus & Immunology Research; University Trustee Irving B. Harris has provided more than $11 million to support the Harris School of Public Policy Studies and research and teaching programs; and the Donnelley family of Chicago has created a multi-million dollar challenge fund to encourage other donors to endow College scholarships. Also in the last year of the Campaign, University Trustee Eric Gleacher (M.B.A.'67) of New York City gave a $15 million challenge gift to finance the University's downtown center, now called the Gleacher Center.