The University of Chicago News Office
Aug. 1, 1996 Press Contact: Larry Arbeiter
(773) 702-8360 (w)

University of Chicago Beats Campaign Goal

Largest Campaign in University’s History Funds to Support Student Aid, Research, New Facilities

Spurred by alumni philanthropists, donors have exceeded the goal of the University of Chicago’s Campaign for the Next Century, raising for student aid, research support and new facilities, the most money ever raised in a campaign in the University’s history. In an outpouring of support that recalled the founding of the institution more than 100 years ago, alumni and other friends contributed $676 million in the five-year effort.

The Campaign was launched at 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 University’s Trustees in February of 1995 to raise the goal to $650 million without increasing the Campaign’s duration. Donors have now exceeded that goal by $26 million, and they have exceeded the original goal by $176 million.

“The critical factor has been the response of our alumni and friends,” said President Hugo F. Sonnenschein. “Generous and farsighted individuals made the founding of this institution possible 103 years ago by responding to John D. Rockefeller’s initial challenge gift, and they have now ensured a brilliant future for the University in the next millennium.” Sonnenschein noted that the Campaign was planned and initiated under the leadership of Hanna H. Gray, his immediate predecessor as president of the University. A total of 1,500 volunteers around the world helped obtain gifts from 92,000 donors. Their gifts ranged in size from less than $25 to $21 million.

Chicago’s fundraising success has been honored with one of only three awards given to private research universities for overall fundraising performance by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. The other two universities honored were Harvard and Stanford.

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 set another record, reaching $132 million.

“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.”

Said Harvey Plotnick, University Trustee, Chairman of the Campaign and an alumnus of the College (A.B. ‘63), “The University has been blessed with a unique and intimate undergraduate college, with the most productive graduate and professional programs and with students and teachers who have long been leaders in research and education. Today, our alumni and friends have guaranteed that our tradition of inventing the future will continue well into the next century.”

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, President 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. President 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 Irving B. Harris Graduate 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 new downtown center, now called the Gleacher Center.
Last modified at 03:50 PM CST on Wednesday, June 14, 2000.

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