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Smith Promises Final Push in Capital Campaign

Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, addresses a crowd at Commencement in 2017.
Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, addresses a crowd at Commencement in 2017. By Megan M. Ross
By Angela N. Fu and Lucy Wang, Crimson Staff Writers

Though both the capital campaign and Michael D. Smith’s tenure as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences are set to conclude in the near future, Smith said FAS will continue fundraising for key projects.

The University’s capital campaign, launched in 2013, has long since surpassed its goal of $6.5 billion and has now raised over $8 billion. FAS passed its individual $2.5 billion goal in 2016, though certain areas of the campaign still have not met their fundraising goals. In an interview earlier this month, Smith said he will make one last push to raise money for these areas—which include FAS financial aid—before the campaign ends in June.

“We've got a key push here at the end,” Smith said, adding FAS must “make sure financial aid continues to have the strength that it needs to continue that program in the future.”

The undergraduate House renewal project has also lagged behind in meeting its fundraising goals. Four Houses have undergone renovations as part of the more than $1 billion ongoing project. Construction is underway at Lowell House, and Adams House, Eliot House, and Kirkland House are set to see renovations as part of Phase I of the project, according to Smith. Smith has previously said Phase II will likely involve minor renovations to Mather and the Quad Houses.

“I'm still raising money for house renewal. That's a project that's going to outlive the end of the campaign,” Smith said. “So we'll continue to talk to our alumni and friends about financial support and that project in the future.”

Funding the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences remains another aspect of the capital campaign yet unfinished. The new Allston complex—slated to eventually house SEAS—is set to open on schedule in 2020.

While much of SEAS is moving across the river, Smith also said future opportunities will remain available in the void left on Oxford Street, where current SEAS and sciences buildings like Pierce and Maxwell-Dworkin currently stand.

“We have an opportunity to reorganize some of our faculty and some of the research that's going on there and be able to generate some new facilities for teaching purposes with the space that’s opened up,” Smith said. “So conversations about that and talking to our alumni about the potential there and what the future holds.”

Despite shortfalls in certain areas, Smith said the campaign has been “really successful,” especially in helping donors understand FAS’s financial priorities across the next few years.

“That's always an important aspect of any campaign—to think about what the institution should be doing next and making the arguments about why that is and trying to get support for it. The alumni have been absolutely fantastic,” he said.

Smith said the end of the capital campaign will set new goals for future campaigns.

“We will continue to fundraise,” Smith said. “Part of the goal of the campaign is not only to give focus on the new aspirations that you have, but set a new target for annual fundraising as we move forward.”

—Staff writer Angela N. Fu can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @angelanfu.

—Staff writer Lucy Wang can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @lucyyloo22.

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Capital CampaignFront FeatureMike Smith