Harvard and Arts and Sciences Campaigns Exceed 50 Percent of Goals

In a report to the faculty, Dean Michael Smith details campaign aims and progress.

The $6.5-billion Harvard Campaign, launched on September 21 with $2.8 billion of pledges and gifts in hand, has raised an additional $900 million, swiftly bringing receipts from 43 percent to 57 percent of the goal. And the $2.5-billon Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) component of the campaign, announced on October 26 with $1 billion of gifts and pledges in hand, has secured an additional $300 million of commitments, bringing it to 52 percent of the goal, Dean Michael D. Smith reported to colleagues today. (Access Harvard Magazine’s complete campaign coverage here.)

The Harvard Campaign

President Drew Faust disclosed the University’s new campaign total of $3.7 billion in gifts and commitments during an early-March interview with The Harvard Crimson. A campaign spokesman separately confirmed the figure, although no date was given for the tally. The robust pace of fundraising would seem to validate campaign leaders’ openly expressed confidence that they could exceed the $6.5-billion goal, even as they announced it.

When the Harvard-wide fundraising drive launched publicly, its aims were described in general terms (teaching and research, financial aid, capital projects, flexible funding, and so on), but programmatic and financial details within those goals were not provided, nor were individual schools’ aims disclosed. Some further detail has been forthcoming as FAS, Harvard School of Public Health ($450 million), and the Radcliffe Institute ($70 million) have conducted launch events. But the University reporting so far remains an aggregate figure. Some further light may be cast this spring, as more of the professional schools begin the public phase of their campaigns, and again next fall, when the rest are expected to do so.

The Arts and Sciences Campaign

Dean Smith’s message, delivered in advance of the April 1 faculty meeting, provided some deeper insight into FAS’s fundraising progress, which has lifted gifts and pledges from 40 percent of the goal at the time of launch to 52 percent by the end of February—a fast pace. Focusing on subjects likely to be of special interest to his fellow professors, Smith outlined:

  • $378 million of support for “faculty and the scholarly enterprise” (for which the goal is $600 million): to endow faculty chairs, graduate fellowships, arts lectureships, the library system, and faculty-led research initiatives;
  • $267 million for undergraduate financial aid (also a $600-million goal), bolstered by the recent $150-million gift (principally for this purpose) from Kenneth C. Griffin ’89; and
  • $120 million for House renewal (a $400-million goal) and $169 million for “the student experience” (exceeding the $100-million goal for this priority).

Smith did not report on fundraising for the remaining FAS priorities:

  • the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS, $450 million);
  • teaching, learning, and pedagogy ($150 million, including significant overlap with SEAS); and
  • decanal discretionary funds ($250 million, aggregating unrestricted annual giving during the course of the campaign).

Subtracting the sums Smith detailed (listed above, for faculty and scholarship, undergraduate financial aid, and House renewal and student life, totaling $934 million) from the overall $1.3 billion received and pledged suggests that somewhat more than one-third of a billion dollars has been secured for SEAS, the pedagogical initiatives, and the decanal unrestricted funds.


The FAS figures warrant further scrutiny.

The faculty and scholarship priority includes several aims: endowing existing professorships (about half the total); creating 10 or so new professorships, in unspecified disciplines; $50 million for faculty research fellowships; $80 million for graduate fellowships; $15 million for arts lectureships; and $105 million in total for academic programs (Smith has mentioned initiatives such as analysis of “big data” and the initiative on the science of the human past) and libraries. The $378-million figure he provided today does not give specific insight into the progress of any specific academic or arts initiative, nor what professorships—existing and prospective—donors might be underwriting. A $31-million gift to support the Center for the Environment (reported in the financial section of the dean’s 2013 annual report, page 81), may count in the academic-programs tally, but no details have been released.

Fundraising for House renewal continues apace; $104 million had been pledged or received as of the end of the last fiscal year, June 30, 2013, so further commitments have been made as Stone Hall (formerly Old Quincy) has opened for student use and donor inspection; work has continued on Leverett House’s McKinlock Hall; and plans have been released for the first whole-House renovation, of Dunster, beginning this summer.

The large sum raised for the “student experience,” for which priorities have not been spelled out thus far, may attract attention. No plans have been released for any major new arts-related facilities to be funded by the campaign, and “common spaces” investments, like the renovation of Holyoke Center to accommodate the envisioned Smith Campus Center, are University, not FAS, campaign priorities. Among many other activities included in this catch-all category, there is likely significant campaign-related support for renovated and new athletic facilities; the financial supplement to Smith’s 2013 annual report noted among capital-spending items during that year “$3.4 million for major renovations planned in athletics” (see footnote 12). The projects include: the addition to and renovation of the Bright-Landry Hockey Center (for which the $14-million construction project is well under way), already funded; the planned 46,000-square-foot addition to Harvard Stadium, and associated repairs (see the University’s Allston draft environmental impact report, page 35); and the planned new basketball arena (60,000 square feet, 3,000 seats; see page 37 of the environmental report).

Finally, SEAS is also a separate University campaign priority, in the form of the multihundred-million-dollar facilities expected to be constructed in Allston to house a substantial portion of that school’s faculty members, along with teaching and research spaces. Again, no information has been forthcoming about the status of that allied fundraising effort; at present, designs for the building are expected next year. A recent faculty white paper on criteria for teaching and common spaces there suggests that the work is progressing as scheduled.



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