Syracuse University goes public with the largest fundraising campaign in its 137-year history; total of $509,283,799 already committed toward $1 billion goal
Syracuse University goes public with the largest fundraising campaign in its 137-year history; total of $509,283,799 already committed toward $1 billion goalNovember 02, 2007Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
Syracuse University today launched the public phase of the most ambitious capital campaign in the institution’s history. In doing so, the University announced it has already reached the landmark halfway point toward the unprecedented goal of $1 billion — with a total of $509,283,799 committed to date by individual private donors and foundations.
Also announced was the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation’s $10 million matching challenge to the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications to establish the Newhouse Dean’s Leadership Fund. If the University and the school raise $5 million for the fund, the foundation will provide the $10 million match, resulting in a total of $15 million to provide Newhouse Dean David Rubin’s successor discretionary funds to pursue his or her vision for the school; Rubin announced last spring his plans to step down as of June 30, 2008, after 18 years as dean.
The matching grant combined with the $15 million previously allocated toward the construction of Newhouse III and more than $5 million contributed for various academic initiatives and programming within the school makes the Newhouse Foundation the largest contributor to date to The Campaign for Syracuse University — with a total philanthropic commitment of $30 million.
The Campaign for Syracuse University began in July 2005 and has been building steadily to today’s public kickoff, which took the form of a festive event in the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium. The event was attended by the campaign leadership, trustees and administrators, Boards of Visitors members of all the schools and colleges, and hundreds of SU students, faculty, staff and alumni. The campaign will continue through 2012.
Campaign contributions have taken many forms — including grants, annual gifts, lifelong gifts and will bequests — and much of the funding has already been allocated to support student scholarships, endowed chairs and professorships, interdisciplinary collaborations and community engagement initiatives, and other critical institutional needs related to the University’s vision of Scholarship in Action.
At the Goldstein Auditorium event, campaign co-chair Howie G. Phanstiel ’70, M.P.A’71, retired president, CEO and chairman of PacifiCare Systems and head of Phanstiel Enterprises LLC, confirmed the University’s $1 billion goal and announced the campaign’s current total, which is already larger than the final totals of SU’s last two major fundraising initiatives, the Campaign for Syracuse ($160 million, 1986-91) and the Commitment to Learning Campaign ($370 million, 1993-2000).
“The campaign will allow us to continue to expand and upgrade our educational facilities, to develop the innovative interdisciplinary programs that are so crucial to real-world problem solving and, finally, to recruit students and faculty who share the Chancellor’s passion for making the world a better place,” Phanstiel says. “I believe we will achieve all of our financial goals and position SU as one of the most prestigious and relevant universities in America today. By securing our future and jump-starting Scholarship in Action funding, we will quickly begin to see our vision take form. We will see ourselves as a leading, top-tier educational institution that is making a positive difference in people’s lives every day.”
Phanstiel shared emcee duties at the kickoff celebration with his fellow co-chairs, Melanie Gray J.D.’81, partner with Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, and Deryck A. Palmer ’78, partner with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. All three are SU trustees and major donors to the campaign.
“Change is happening at SU, and the campaign is a critical part of that change — generating even more excitement about Scholarship in Action and inspiring donors to fully embrace and support SU,” Gray says. “People give because they want to create, and be part of, change. They want to make a real difference in the world. The campaign is an incredible opportunity to make a difference in a big way.”
“There is no school or college on this campus that will not be touched by this campaign. And that’s the beautiful part of this — it will benefit the University as a whole,” Palmer says. “This is a prime time for Syracuse alumni. By participating in this effort, this is a way that everyone can give back. Some will give their time, some will give their money, but it’s important that we all participate in this effort.”
“We are incredibly grateful for the extraordinary enthusiasm and energy that our three co-chairs have brought to this campaign,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “They have literally crisscrossed the country to respond to and create opportunities for our alumni and friends to express their support for SU and our vision of Scholarship in Action — investing not only their time but also their wisdom and their personal support on behalf of us all.
“With this campaign, we have seen a stunning show of support for our common purpose — to catapult SU to new heights,” says Cantor. “Speaking for myself and on behalf of our students, faculty and staff, we are overwhelmed by the generosity and commitment of our full volunteer leadership team and our many generous donors. Now it’s time to roll this wave of excitement and energy out to the rest of the SU community and the world.”
Cantor and SU Board of Trustees Chairman John A. Couri ’63 spoke onstage at the event, along with Gray, Palmer and Phanstiel.
Acknowledged during the program were:
- the campaign’s five honorary co-chairs — Alfred Goldstein H’85, RobertMenschel ’51, H’91, Donald Newhouse ’51, Dorothea Shaffer ’33, H’90, and Martin J. Whitman ’49, along with the campaign vice-chairs;
- JPMorgan Chase’s 10-year, $30 million university-industry partnership with SU to develop an innovative financial service technology and infrastructure curriculum and training program;
- 11 donors who have given in excess of $5 million to the campaign;
- donors who have given more than $1 million and donors who have given $100,000 or more;
- local and national foundations that have provided support; and
- Chancellor Cantor and her husband, Steven R. Brechin, for their recently announced $1 million leadership gift.
Video presentations showcased the campaign themes of “Student Access and Support,” “Faculty Excellence and Doctoral Distinction” and “Engagement With the World,” and video highlights were shown of the Sept. 19 dedication events for Newhouse III.
In an especially touching part of the program, Mary Gilmore Smith ’29, G’38 was recognized for her early advocacy for and longtime financial support of an endowed scholarship fund to benefit women working toward their SU degrees part time through University College. Today also was Smith’s 100th birthday. She was escorted to the stage, where she received a bouquet of flowers and a “Happy Birthday” serenade by the student a cappella group Orange Appeal.
The Campaign for Syracuse University has five key campaign goals:
- “Cross-Connections” (goal of $300 million) refers to the institutional priority of advancing interdisciplinary teaching, research and community engagement initiatives, particularly in the areas of technology and science, social policy and community and economic development, the public humanities, public communications and the arts.
- “Student Access and Support” (goal of $200 million) is about significantly increasing the number of scholarships and fellowships in endowed and current-use funds to attract students of merit from all walks of life who demonstrate financial need.
- “Faculty Excellence” (goal of $200 million) supports endowed deanships, chairs and professorships to attract and retain world-class scholars and to provide funds for professional development activities.
- “Building Futures” (goal of $225 million) refers to enhancing teaching and research facilities and providing state-of-the-art technology on campus and at SU’s domestic and study abroad centers.
- “Annual Support” ($75 million) describes gifts to the Fund for Syracuse, including gifts to Deans’ Discretionary Funds in each of the schools and colleges to provide flexible resources that can be used where they are needed most.
For more information on The Campaign for Syracuse University, visit http://campaign.syr.edu.