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It's an announcement more than five years in the making.
This afternoon, under the mounted moose and elephant heads of Manhattan's Harvard Club, President Neil L. Rudenstine is expected to tell a group of 150 donors and administrators that the University's mammoth $2.1-billion Capital Campaign has reached--and perhaps even surpassed--its original goal.
"It's been apparent to me for a number of months. I knew they were well over the goal when I made my last major gift," said Sidney R. Knafel '52, who has given about $27 million to Harvard over the course of the campaign.
"They've wanted to keep the announcement of going over the goal quiet so it will be a joint release," he added.
The revelation comes as little surprise. Eight of Harvard's nine schools have already met or exceeded their goals. The School of Public Health, for example, met its $125 million goal two-and-a-half years ago.
Only the Faculty of Arts and Sciences--the College and its graduate programs--has yet to officially meet its $965-million goal. As of this past Commencement, FAS had garnered $942.5 million.
Last week, Andrew K. Tiedemann, a spokesperson in the University development office, said Harvard is eight months ahead of the schedule set at the beginning of the University's campaign.
But regardless of what the University announces today, it plans to continue fundraising until December.
"The campaign doesn't end until December 30," Tiedemann said, citing the fundraising effort's original end date. "And the campaign isn't over until then."
Certain goals of the campaign, such as the libraries and professorships, have been sticking points since the beginning.
And while some of these areas made strong progress over the summer, most remain short of their individual goals. Still, the campaign's overall $2.1-billion goal can be surpassed if other areas--such as the drive to construct new buildings on campus--make up the difference.
Sidney Verba '53, Pforzheimer university professor and director of the Harvard University Library, said the University has raised about 80 percent of the $78 million it needs for the libraries.
"I think we're catching up," Verba said earlier this week. "I guess I'm feeling like Bill Bradley. I think we will reach our goal."
Under the large yellow crane that has been hovering over Widener Library since the summer, Harvard is equipping its largest library with climate control, new electrical wiring, new carrels and two additional reading rooms--in total a $50-million project.
The rest of the library campaign's fruits, Verba said, is slated for preservation of the system's 11,000,000 books, improvement of digital technology, purchasing of new books and renovation of other Harvard libraries.
Verba said the Widener renovation would have to be finished whether or not all of the money is raised.
While professorships have not fared as well as other areas of the campaign, Director of Development Planning Leah R. McIntosh '78 said the University still hopes to raise its goal of 40 professorships by the end of December. Currently, 25 have been endowed.
Tiedemann said the University's strategy involves "working closely with donors who have expressed interest in those areas and hoping to have them make gift decisions before the December 30 deadline in order bring those goals to meeting their objectives."
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