Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Donation drive hits first goal: $1 billion

Northwestern has raised more than $1 billion toward its comprehensive fund-raising effort, administrators announced today.

As of Dec. 28, the Campaign Northwestern total stood at $15.2 million more than the $1 billion original goal, said Ronald Vanden Dorpel, vice president for university development.

“The last two or three years have been great years for fund raising because of the strength of the economy and the strength of the markets,” he said. “But it also says something for the kind of untapped generosity of NU’s alumni and friends.”

Raising $1 billion was the original target of the campaign, which was designed to increase endowment for scholarships and fellowships, help build and renovate facilities, and endow more faculty chairs. The university raised its goal to $1.4 billion in the spring.

NU passed the $1 billion mark Nov. 30, two-and-a-half years after the campaign was publicly announced.

“These are very encouraging results,” University President Henry Bienen said in a statement. “We are tremendously grateful to our development staff, our 1,227 campaign volunteers and the 77,685 alumni, parents, corporations, foundations and other friends of the university who have contributed since the start of the campaign.”

Among the recent donations that led to the university’s milestone was an additional $5 million gift from Ann Lurie for building the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, bringing her contributions for new medical facilities to $45 million.

The university also received gifts from the Ford Motor Company that will be disclosed later.

The university also has benefited from the football team’s surprising season, with gift donations to the athletic department on the rise, Vanden Dorpel said.

“We’re setting new records there,” he said. “(Athletic giving) is significantly ahead of last year, and it’s done very well in the last two or three years. The good football season has been a plus for us.”

The campaign officially ends Aug. 31, 2003. Vanden Dorpel said a slowing economy could make meeting the revised target difficult.

“We’ve got another $400 million to go, and that could be a daunting task, depending on the economy,” he said. “Our real challenge is to broaden the base of donors — to get more alumni to give.”

Vanden Dorpel said he would like to increase the amount of donors beyond 100,000.

The university hopes to raise an additional $25 million by August, he said.

Upcoming projects that will use campaign funds include the $33 million Center for Nanofabrication and Molecular Self-Assembly, a major renovation of Norris University Center and a $10 million tennis center.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Donation drive hits first goal: $1 billion