After Raising $1 Billion in Seven Months, Harvard Campaign on Record-Shattering Pace

Harvard has raised $3.8 billion in its University-wide capital campaign since the drive’s quiet phase launched in 2011. The $3.8 billion mark, current as of March 31, 2014, means that the University has raised at least $1 billion since the campaign’s public launch in September, putting it on a record-shattering pace.

“All of the schools are pretty much on track. Specific priorities that are doing well probably vary school by school,” said Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development Tamara E. Rogers ’74 in an interview last week.

Rogers then ticked off the major gifts that have pushed the campaign to early success, including $150 million from Kenneth C. Griffin ’89 in February, most of which was directed to financial aid. Rogers called the Griffin gift “a huge boost.”

Only one school—Stanford, in Fiscal Year 2012—has raised more than $1 billion in a twelve-month span. The new report indicates that Harvard, having raised $1 billion in roughly seven months, will easily surpass that record. During the quiet phase of the campaign, Harvard raised $2.8 billion, a number that was current as of August 31, 2013, campaign co-chair Paul J. Finnegan ’75 announced at the launch last September.


“I’m delighted by the pace, I’m delighted by the enthusiasm and you got to see some of it, I think, on the Intrepid [in New York]—the alums who are turning out and really enjoying being engaged with the campaign and the University,” University President Drew G. Faust said in an interview earlier this month.

But as has been her custom in recent months, while some have begun to celebrate the University’s impressive fundraising pace, Faust tempered her enthusiasm.

“I’m very pleased. As I said before, we can’t always anticipate that the pace will be like this. Sometimes there are little bumps in the road in a campaign, or things slow down and then speed up, and you get a really big gift that makes a really high total one month and then the next month you don’t get the same big gift,” she said.

The updated number is the latest in a stream of positive indicators for the fundraising drive. In early March, Faust told The Crimson that the total stood at $3.7 billion, a sign of “tremendous momentum.” And at a Harvard Alumni Association event in New York this May, Faust said that $430 million had been raised for financial aid, a major priority of the campaign that University leadership has continued to emphasize even after Griffin’s landmark gift.

The new report illustrates the upward trend in fundraising that is often expected during a capital campaign. In FY 2013, Harvard raised $792 million, ranking second nationwide to Stanford, which took in $932 million, according to a survey by the Council for Aid to Education, which tracks annual fundraising totals in higher education.

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


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