|FEATURES Winter 2002|
We're getting close, but we're not there yet," says Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, "and there is so much important work to do. Much has already been accomplished, but there are high priorities we set that are still to be fully funded. As my predecessor Bill Danforth has said, 'A great university is a work in progress; it always has more excellent ideas than resources to support the ideas.'
"That is certainly the case at Washington University," he continues. "And the importance of the $1.28 billion lies less in the impressive amount itself than in the opportunities it is opening up to our students and faculty. Those dollars are only enablers; that money is only important in that it enables us to do something worthwhile. And we are doing that in the battle against cancer, in executive education, in biomedical engineering, in genome research, in every discipline ... every school has been strengthened.
"No one disputes Washington University's excellence and leadership in many fields. It is one of a small number of outstanding research universities educating the best talents and minds we have, in many fields and endeavors. It is expanding our understanding of the world. It is making significant contributions to improving the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere. In short, a society based on reason, technology, leadership, and innovation needs those who can do each of these best.
"Which, of course, leads us to Washington University and the Campaign for Washington University," Wrighton notes. "We have a vision of accelerating our ascent among the world's truly great universities, of continuing to grow in strength, in reputation, and, most of all, in service both to students and the wider world. By fulfilling our vision, the people of this Universityits students, faculty, staff, and alumnican assist in making the world a better place, in ensuring a brighter future for society.
"Thanks to the leadership of Sam Fox, chair of the public phase of the Campaign, members of the Campaign Steering Committee, and our many volunteers, and to the unprecedented generosity of the more than 80,000 alumni and friends who are already participating in the Campaign, we've made tremendous progress toward fulfilling our vision.
"Now it is time to drive for the finish line. During the next 18 months, our focus will continue to beas it has been until nowon the four Campaign priorities: 1) people; 2) academic programs, student life, and the libraries; 3) new construction and renovation of existing facilities; and 4) unrestricted annual support."
People: "The strength of Washington University is its people; a university is judged by the quality of its teaching and research and the achievements of its graduates. When the Campaign was started, Washington University had just 138 endowed professorships, significantly fewer than many of its peer institutions. An unspoken hope was to double that number during the Campaign in order to better compete with other top research universities for the best senior and junior scholars and teachers, men and women who can continue to create new knowledge and who train the leaders who will help society meet the challenges of the 21st century. To date, 115 new endowed professorships have been addedin disciplines ranging from architecture, art history, and women's studies to biomedical engineering, child developmental psychology, the humanities, law, and orthopaedic surgery. That leaves 23 to go to reach an ambitious goal.
"To attract and engage the outstanding students who are the hope and the future of this country and the worldand not just those who have the resources to make it possible (more than 50 percent of undergraduates are receiving scholarship assistance this year, and the need is equally great among graduate students)trustees set a goal of $175 million in new endowment for scholarships and fellowships. To date, $134.8 million in gifts and commitments, including a $25 million gift from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, has been received. That leaves $40.2 million to be raised."
Academic Programs, Student Life, and the Libraries: "To focus, at one and the same time, on quality education and cutting-edge research is especially costly, but that is the core of excellence at Washington University. Although the original goal for these purposes has already been exceeded, certain initiatives in this area remain underfunded; for example, the $15 million target for building and maintaining the University Libraries' collections, preserving the existing collection, and providing access to electronic information resources is still $3.1 million away."
New Construction and Renovation of Existing Facilities: "In just the last year alone, we dedicated the Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center and the Stanley and Lucy Lopata House in the Small Group Housing Complex, completed the renovations of Bixby and Givens halls, cut the ribbons to open the new Center for Advanced Medicine and the National Cancer Institute-designated Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, opened the Laboratory Science Building for Arts & Sciences students, watched Uncas A. Whitaker Hall for Biomedical Engineering move toward completion, and broke ground for the new Earth and Planetary Sciences Building. All of that is part of providing students and faculty the best possible physical environment for learning and teaching, and some $80 million is still needed just to complete projects already under way or on the drawing board."
Unrestricted Annual Support: "Unrestricted gifts play an essential role in everything the University does, and Washington University wouldn't be Washington University without them. For example, to produce the $13.5 million in gifts to the Annual Fund received in the last fiscal year would require an additional $400 million in the endowment. Our goal is to increase annual unrestricted support to $15 million and alumni participation to 35 percent by the Campaign's end. To achieve those goals, all giftsat whatever levelare critical.
"I wish there were some fresh new way to say thank you to each of our many alumni and friends who have invested in Washington University," says Wrighton. "They have already ensured that this campaign will be an unprecedented success. Their continued involvementand that of otherswill be critical to achieving even greater success in the last months of the Campaign."
As of October 31, 2002, gifts and commitments to the Campaign for Washington University totaled $1.28 billion, more than 98 percent of the $1.3 billion goal. The Campaign is scheduled to conclude June 30, 2004.