Graduate School of Education Passes $250 Million Campaign Goal

Graduate School of Education
The Monroe C. Gutman Library is a popular study spot for Harvard Graduate School of Education students.
The Harvard Graduate School of Education surpassed its $250 million capital campaign fundraising goal in March 2017, according to the school's Senior Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations Daphne N. Layton.

Harvard’s University-wide capital campaign launched in Sept. 2013, with each of the individual schools kicking off their own fundraising efforts, too. As of June 2017, the University had raised $8 billion, shattering its original $6.5 billion fundraising goal.

The School of Education campaign amassed contributions from over 8,000 donors, 81 percent of whom are alumni of the school. Layton noted, though, that—because most School of Education graduates are educators—gifts from alumni represent only 3 percent of the total dollars raised in the campaign.

“Three quarters of our campaign total comes from foundations and individual donors outside Harvard who are supporting our faculty and our strategic initiatives because they believe HGSE will cultivate the leaders and innovators the field needs, and generate new knowledge to solve education’s most pressing problems,” Layton wrote in an emailed statement.

Layton attributed most of the campaign’s success to the leadership of Dean James E. Ryan, the work of the school's research centers and faculty, and the “passion and potential” of Graduate School of Education students.


“The funds we have raised during the campaign have enabled the launch of many new initiatives that further HGSE’s mission and extend our impact in the world,” Layton wrote.

Though the campaign has been a success for the School of Education, it has also had to overcome unique challenges specific to the school.

“It is correspondingly hard to find donors who will give the institution unrestricted funds, or gifts for core priorities like faculty chairs, financial aid, and facilities—which ultimately are critical to our ability to thrive in the long term,” Layton wrote.

Regardless of the school's success in the capital campaign, Layton said the School of Education still has unmet needs—particularly related to student financial aid and endowed professorships—and plans to continue fundraising past the campaign’s conclusion in June 2018.

Fernando M. Reimers, a professor of international education at the School of Education, agreed the institution still has a ways to go in achieving its mission for the future.

“The school has ambitious goals to meet and a very important mission to advance the field of education. To do this we need more resources for financial aid, research, and translating the research of our faculty into resources which influence policy and practice,” Reimers wrote in an email. “So, if the question is what do we need to realize our full potential as a school? The answer is a four letter word: MORE.”

—Staff writer Sarah J. Hong can be reached at


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