With Campaign Underway, Harvard Has Raised $900 Million Since September

Harvard has raised $900 million since the public launch of its capital campaign last September, boosting the fundraising drive’s ongoing total to $3.7 billion, more than half of its goal, University President Drew G. Faust said on Tuesday.

The $900 million raised in just six months exceeds the total amount collected during the last complete fiscal year, when the University raised a record $792 million. When the University publicly launched The Harvard Campaign, it announced it had already raised $2.8 billion in a multiyear quiet phase.

“I’m thrilled. This shows tremendous momentum,” Faust said in an interview in her Massachusetts Hall office Tuesday afternoon. She cautioned, though, that people should not expect the campaign to continue to progress so rapidly.

“I think we should all keep in mind that campaigns tend to have slow times, fast times, and I think the launch was something people had waited for,” she said. “We hadn’t been in a campaign for many years, so I think we got a lot of momentum at the start.”

Since the campaign launched, the University has received a series of high-profile gifts, including $10 million given to the Graduate School of Design by John K. F. Irving  ’83 and Anne I. Oxley in December; $90 million to the Medical School by Ludwig Cancer Research and $10 million to the Law School from Sumner M. Redstone ’44 in January; and the largest gift in Harvard College history, Kenneth L. Griffin ’89’s $150 million to support financial aid, a professorship at the Business School, and other unspecified campaign goals.

Together, these large gifts total $260 million, more than a quarter of the fundraising garnered since the Harvard Campaign launch. The University has not specified where the majority of the remaining $640 million comes from.

"While we're in the early stages of the Campaign, we continue to enjoy the philanthropic and volunteer support of alumni and friends around the world,” Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development Tamara E. Rogers '74 said in a statement. “All campaigns have inevitable peaks and valleys, but we are feeling very positive about the reaction to date."

Harvard’s capital campaign priorities include innovations in teaching and learning, advancing a more globally viable Harvard, campus development, and attracting talent through a combination of student financial aid and faculty support.

“The big idea in this campaign is that higher education is changing rapidly, and we want to use the campaign to propel Harvard into the opportunities of the twenty-first century,” Faust said. “It’s a series of ideas that really embody the notion of ‘how do we lead change? How do we sustain Harvard’s commitment in leadership in a very changed environment?”

The University’s last fundraising drive was led by President Neil L. Rudenstine, who raised $2.6 billion between 1994 to 1999. Like many higher education fund drives, especially those at elite institutions, Rudenstine exceeded his original goal, which was $2.1 billion.

Similarly, Stanford far exceeded its original goal of $4.3 billion and raised the largest amount ever by an institution of higher learning during a single capital campaign. “The Stanford Challenge” concluded with a total sum of $6.23 billion at the end of 2011.

Of Harvard’s $6.5 billion goal, Faust said, “It was an appropriate goal to set, and we’ll see how we do.”

—Staff writer Matthew Q. Clarida can be reached at matthew.clarida@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattclarida.

—Staff writer Amna H. Hashmi can be reached at amnahashmi@college.harvard.edu. Follow her on Twitter @amna_hashmi.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: March 12, 2014

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the day on which University President Drew. G. Faust said that Harvard had raised $3.7 billion. In fact, Crimson reporters met with Faust on Tuesday.

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