Name Game

The University Campaign is one for the record books: by far exceeding its $2.1-billion goal, it became the most successful such effort ever...

The University Campaign is one for the record books: by far exceeding its $2.1-billion goal, it became the most successful such effort ever conducted by an institution of higher education. Administrators, deans, volunteers, and the nearly 175,000 contributors can celebrate, but the weary fundraisers cannot rest on their laurels--surely the next campaign looms. As a service, therefore, Harvard Magazine offers the following excerpt from "Name That Campaign," by Bernice A. Thieblot, founder and president of North Charles Street Design Organization, of Baltimore, a marketing communications and fundraising consultant to universities, colleges, and schools.

Column A Column B Column C
Toward Greater Endowment
Honoring a Tradition of Learning
Quest for a Commitment to Quality
Time for a Heritage of Enrichment
In Support of the Enrichment of Leadership
Celebrating a Century of Service
Opportunity for a Larger Purpose
Creating a More Perfect Wisdom
To Share an Ancient Gift
Burnishing a Hallmark of Tradition
Program for a Keystone of Greatness
Investment in a Foundation of Abundance
Glorifying a Fount of Beneficence
Exalting the Margin of Excellence
Transcending the Magnitude of Vision
Signaling an Abundance of Progress
Force for a Remarkable Imperative
Imperative for an Extraordinary Decade
Affirming a Lofty Achievement
Frontier of a Noble Dream
In Search of a Mighty History
Pursuit of an Illustrious Honor
To Perpetuate a Signal Presence
To Sustain a Renowned Difference
Advancement of a Glorious Development
Fulfilling a Grand Promise
Surpassing a Majestic Campaign
The Consummation of a Perpetual Legacy
Campaign for a Legacy of Idea
Mandate for a Superb Covenant
Reinforcing a Peerless Philanthropy
Building a Monument to Money
Maximizing Matchless Structure
Uniting a Superior Opportunity
Resources for the Vastness of Edifice
Optimizing an Enduring Inflation
Counterbalancing the Strife of Accountability
Generating the Elements of Excellence
Engineering an Edifice for Generosity
Ennobling a Capacity for Investment
Upgrading the Frequency of Giving
Motivating the Occurrence of Personal Sacrifice
Strengthening a Generous Expansion
Chiseling a Vital Link
Forging an Unbroken Chain of Promises
Renewing a Tower of Truth
Reaffirming a New Age of Unity
Safeguarding a Vision of Virtue
Articulating a Gracious Prominence
To Cultivate an Enduring Vitality
Reaping the Rewards of Industry
Preserving a Viable Alternative

The article originally appeared in the November-December 1994 issue of Currents, published by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the association for academic fundraising professionals, and appears here with permission of the author and CASE. ~The Editors


Capital campaigns are springing up like crocuses.

And inventing those words and phrases that sear minds, kindle dreams, and open hearts and checkbooks has once again emerged as an art form.

I am convinced that the most difficult activity associated with a campaign--second only to raising the money itself--is naming it. Because finding a name is so taxing, too many institutions are copping out--resorting to campaigns designated by numbers. You'll recognize them by such names as "Two Centuries: Two Million." Numbers lack the power to stir souls. Better, we think, to name a campaign for its philosophical objectives and attain a loftiness beyond measurement.

In the interest of serving higher education, we have developed our own patented method for naming campaigns which we, herewith, share with you. Using this system is as simple as ordering from a Chinese menu. Notice that there are three columns. Begin by reading down Column A until you find the participle or infinitive that seems most appropriate. Next, choose the phrase from Column B that feels just right. All you need is a noun from Column C and, presto, your campaign has the perfect name. (For example, if you had chosen #30 in Column A, #18 in Column B, and #42 in Column C, you would have "Mandate for an Extraordinary Personal Sacrifice." Now what could describe the objectives of a capital campaign better than that?)

A word of caution: Beware the acronym. "Advancement of a Superb Structure" will not do. Neither will "Signaling an Abundance of Progress."


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