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Faust Shares Goals for Final Months of Capital Campaign

Mass Hall, Fall 2017
Massachusetts Hall houses the offices of the University President.

As Harvard’s record-breaking capital campaign heads into its final months, University President Drew G. Faust has a few more fundraising targets she wants to meet before the campaign’s official conclusion on June 30.

“There are a number of other matters that I would like to see us raise money for: funding for the Theater, Dance, and Media concentration, funding for a number of construction projects,” Faust said in an interview last week.

She also said financial aid fundraising is still a significant priority for campaign organizers. The Crimson reported last month that the overall financial aid goal was still short of its target.

Though certain areas of the campaign are still short of their targets, the overall campaign met its goal of $6.5 billion in April 2016 and has exceeded that amount by over $1.5 billion since.

Faust said a number of Harvard’s schools have their own individual buckets to finish filling and noted there is still time for donors to contribute. On Wednesday, the Medical School announced it had met its goal.

“Different schools have different parts of their school-based goals that they’re trying to complete, so there are a number of questions and opportunities still open for interested donors,” she said.

Faust also reflected on some of what she considers to be the most “memorable” milestones of the campaign. She said she was “so excited” when Richard and Susan Smith committed the funds to renovate the Smith Campus Center, formerly known as the Holyoke Center.

“That meant an enormous amount to me because it’s at the heart of the aspirations of common spaces for the rest of the University and I think it can be an answer to the pressing need for undergraduate social spaces as well,” Faust said.

She said the accumulation of funds for undergraduate House renewal has been “wonderful to watch.” She did not, however, specify any negative aspects of the campaign, citing a desire to wait until it concludes.

“As for shortcomings, I’m not going to admit any until we get to the very end because there may not be,” she said.

Faust also spoke about the ethics of accepting donations. One potential ethical dilemma arose last month when Nan Goldin, a photographer whose work appears in Harvard’s art collection, called on the University to refuse donations from the Sackler family given is association with Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the controversial and addictive pain medication OxyContin.

Faust said the University maintains a committee to review the ethical implications of certain gifts.

“There’s a gift policy committee that needs to analyze whether a gift is appropriate, whether it comes with expectation of some kind of quid for pro quo — which we do not accept,” she said.

At the time of Goldin’s request, a spokesperson for the Sackler Foundation told The Crimson that Arthur M. Sackler, for whom the museum is named, passed away years before OxyContin came into existence.

—Staff writer Jamie D. Halper can be reached at jamie.halper@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @jamiedhalper.

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