Columbia Sets New Goal for Fundraising Campaign to Support Financial Aid, New Faculty and Facilities

Dec. 15, 2010Bookmark and Share

To sustain its mission of teaching, research, patient care and public service in the years ahead, Columbia University is expanding its current fundraising goal to $5 billion. Even though the multi-year Columbia Campaign has spanned a severe economic recession, it remains on pace to exceed its original $4 billion goal for new gifts and pledges nearly a year ahead of schedule. 

Columbia's Low Library (Image credit: Eileen Barroso / Columbia University)
“With this support, Columbia can remain dedicated to its core mission of understanding the world in all its complexity and helping to shed light on global problems ranging from poverty and climate change, to financial regulation and infectious disease,” University President Lee C. Bollinger said. “These resources will also help us to maintain one of the most socio-economically diverse and selective undergraduate student bodies in the nation, while expanding financial aid in pursuit of the promise that a young person’s educational opportunities should not depend on the wealth of his or her family.”
When it was announced in September 2006, the original goal of $4 billion represented the largest ever fundraising effort in American higher education. At $5 billion, the new goal is once again the largest ever announced. Originally slated to close at the end of 2011, the Columbia Campaign is now extended to December 2013. It will add support to new and existing initiatives and programs throughout the University including:
“We are incredibly proud that friends and alumni of Columbia have been energized by the University’s momentum under Lee Bollinger’s leadership, said Richard Witten, vice chair of the University Trustees and co-chair of the Columbia Campaign. “The financial success of this effort is, of course, extremely gratifying. But equally significant is the fact that more than 160,000 donors have taken part in the Columbia Campaign. Their support and enthusiasm has been infectious and we bring enormous momentum to the years and goals ahead, leading the effort to strengthen Columbia and the world in which we exist.”
The campaign will also continue to support the Columbia Alumni Association’s ongoing work to better engage with almost 300,000 alumni from all schools and draw on the talents of more alumni volunteers to lead the Columbia community forward. It will also promote a new initiative that encourages alumni and friends to take advantage of creative giving options known as planned gifts.
Since its launch, the campaign has focused on the University’s core academic and research areas, raising about $1.5 billion in new endowment, over $1.75 billion in operating support and more than $600 million for new and improved facilities. In less than five years, the campaign has permanently increased resources for student financial aid, faculty development, and academic programming across Columbia’s campuses, and provided essential operating funds, including support for a significantly enhanced program of undergraduate financial aid.
Transformative gifts received to date include:
  • $400 million from the late John W. Kluge (CC’37, HON’88)—the largest gift ever in support of financial aid at a single institution;
  • $250 million from the late Dawn Greene (HON’08) and the Jerome L. Greene Foundation—the largest gift ever for a single facility at a U.S. university—to establish the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, which will house Columbia’s Mind Brain Behavior Initiative;
  • more than $100 million from Gerry Lenfest (LAW’58, HON’09), almost half in support of endowed professorships at Columbia Law School and in the Arts and Sciences;
  • $100 million from Henry R. Kravis (BUS’69)—the largest gift ever to Columbia Business School—to support the construction of its new home on the Manhattanville campus; and
  • $50 million from P. Roy Vagelos (PS’54, HON’90) and Diana Vagelos (BC’55) for a new medical education building at Columbia University Medical Center, the largest gift ever to the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
“To raise $1.4 billion and counting is a remarkable achievement for Columbia University Medical Center and its units—one that defies easy description,” said P. Roy Vagelos, chair of CUMC’s Board of Visitors and its Defining the Future Campaign. “Looking forward, we are excited about our wonderful plan to physically renovate and revitalize the medical campus, we are committed to raising even more funding for faculty and scholarship support, and of course we will continue the distinguished tradition of education, research, and patient care that have long been Columbia’s hallmarks. We remain grateful to our many supportive donors and volunteers, as we strive to honor their generosity through our good work.”
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