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The Harvard Crimson Raises More Than $15 Million in Historic Capital Campaign

The Harvard Crimson reached the $15 million goal for its capital campaign commemorating the campus student newspaper's 150th anniversary.
The Harvard Crimson reached the $15 million goal for its capital campaign commemorating the campus student newspaper's 150th anniversary. By Crimson Multimedia Staff
By Neil H. Shah, Crimson Staff Writer

The Harvard Crimson raised more than $15 million through a capital campaign commemorating the campus newspaper’s 150th anniversary, Crimson President J. Sellers Hill ’25 announced in an email to alumni on Monday.

The paper had sought $6 million to support innovation, $6 million to bolster its financial aid program, and $3 million for building renovations. The funds will be stored in an organizational trust managed by Crimson alumni and are wholly separate from The Crimson’s day-to-day operating finances, which are managed by students.

The $15 million raised by the campaign is a staggering sum for a student organization at Harvard. The campaign, launched in 2020, was the largest publicly reported fundraising effort in collegiate journalism.

The campaign was supported by a campaign committee of 11 Crimson alumni, which included New York Times Executive Editor Joseph F. Kahn ’87 and Mary Louise Kelly ’93 — the co-host of NPR’s All Things Considered. The planning and fundraising spanned the tenures of six Crimson presidents.

“I’d like to specifically thank three leaders — Robert Decherd ’73, Michael Abramowitz ’85, and Amit Paley ’04 — for their unparalleled dedication,” Hill wrote in the newsletter. All three are former Crimson presidents.

The $15 million mark was reached despite The Crimson weathering a wave of alumni backlash in the middle of the campaign after the newspaper’s Editorial Board endorsed the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement in April 2022, which calls for the cutting of ties with Israel.

The endorsement sparked criticism from dozens of Crimson alumni, including prominent figures in the news industry such as Abramowitz, the newly-appointed director of Voice of America, and Linda J. Greenhouse ’68, a longtime Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times.

Hill wrote in the newsletter that capital campaign funding would be used to make “investments in technology and storytelling infrastructure.”

“The future of journalism is digital,” Hill wrote, “and this campaign will empower The Crimson to continue succeeding and leading in that future.”

The email also stated that The Crimson would use part of the funds to renovate its building at 14 Plympton St. — the first major renovations in 35 years — which Hill called “long overdue.”

The remaining total will support The Crimson’s financial aid program, which currently has more than 100 undergraduate participants. It provides up to $1,800 each semester to Crimson editors who qualify.

“These funds will support our effort to endow our financial aid program, ensuring that all undergraduates can discover their love of journalism free of financial barriers,” Hill wrote.

Paras D. Bhayani ’09, who serves as chair of the newspaper’s Graduate Council, wrote in the email that “Crimson alumni have a time-honored tradition of ‘paying it forward’ to future generations of Crimeds.”

“I am immensely proud that the success of this campaign means we can secure a sustainable future for The Crimson, ensuring the newspaper continues to play its vital role on campus while preparing students to lead the newsrooms of tomorrow,” said Bhayani, a former managing editor of the newspaper.

—Staff writer Neil H. Shah can be reached at neil.shah@thecrimson.com. Follow him on X @neilhshah15.

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