The Finish Line

Harvard's university campaign, the most ambitious such effort ever in higher education, concluded December 31, five and a half years from its...

Harvard's university campaign, the most ambitious such effort ever in higher education, concluded December 31, five and a half years from its public launch in May 1994. When all the gifts were tallied, wrote President Neil L. Rudenstine to "alumni, alumnae, and friends" in a letter dated January 21, $2.6 billion had been contributed to "the first university-wide fundraising effort in Harvard's modern history, surpassing by a wide margin the original goal of $2.1 billion." For the record, the exact sum recorded, according to the University Development Office, was $2,653,396,000, but who's counting?

 
Goal
Funds Raised
Arts & Sciences 965,000,000 1,122,055,000
Business 220,000,000 312,339,000
Design 30,000,000 38,627,000
Divinity 45,000,000 47,595,000
Education 60,000,000 101,752,000
Government 125,000,000 208,585,000
Law 36,000,000 36,393,000
Medical/Dental 220,000,000 336,441,000
Public Health 125,000,000 185,100,000
University Fund 265,000,000 264,509,000
TOTALS $2,091,000,000 $2,653,396,000

 

The campaign's ultimate success was not in doubt as the deadline approached. At a meeting in New York City last October, Rudenstine informed campaign leaders and major donors that Harvard had already exceeded its goal, and he, Provost Harvey V. Fineberg, and several deans described how Harvard's schools had been able to increase financial aid, expand faculty ranks, renew facilities, and create new programs as a result (see "Victory, and Beyond," November-December 1999, page 75).

Summarizing the effort in his January letter, Rudenstine thanked 174,378 graduates and friends for enabling "vastly strengthened educational programs and opportunities that will together shape the future" of the University. He cited the ability of financial-aid programs to keep "Harvard's doors fully open to undergraduate and graduate students of exceptional talent and promise," and "dozens of newly endowed professorships." He pronounced Harvard "now far better equipped" to meet the twin challenges of internationalization and information technology, which are stretching the scope and extending the reach of education and research. The campaign, Rudenstine also wrote, enabled the University to "emerge even more strongly as a leader in the extraordinary scientific revolution unfolding before us." (The Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Medical School have launched increasingly ambitious science initiatives, singly and cooperatively, as the campaign has concluded.)

The president promised a comprehensive campaign report soon, and a weekend of celebration and symposiums on the academic disciplines and professions is planned for early May--six years from the official beginning of the campaign. Until then, "I simply want to recognize the campaign's volunteer leaders for their remarkable energy and commitment, and to salute all of you who have contributed to the effort for your unprecedented generosity," Rudenstine wrote. "Like any great and enduring institution, Harvard is forever a work in progress. It is only with your confidence and engagement that we can continue to build on that progress, imaginatively and ambitiously, in the decades that lie ahead."

 

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