Campaign for Washington University — Winter 2004

Mark S. Wrighton, Chancellor

A Campaign for the University's Future

A little over eight years ago, the Board of Trustees gathered for a retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia, and decided to launch the Campaign for Washington University.

We established a tentative goal of $750 million, even though the many people who worked so hard on our long-range Project 21 strategic planning process told us they needed twice that amount if they were to have the resources to not only address the high priorities that had been identified, but also take advantage of the many opportunities that lay before us.

I told the trustees then, after just one year as chancellor of Washington University, that I had come to one overarching conclusion; namely, that Washington University had the promise to be one of the greatest universities in the world. I added, "Realization of this promise is a challenge to be sure, but it is my conviction that we have the high potential needed for world leadership and the resolve to achieve it early in the 21st century."

That was June 1996. Washington University was a great university—with great potential.

• We enjoyed world leadership in such academic areas as medicine, social work, imaging science and technology, German, and biology (especially plant biology and genetics);

• The dollar volume of our sponsored research was in the top 25 of all American universities;

• We had recognition of achievement in national rankings by popular periodicals, such as U.S. News & World Report, which placed us among the top 25 universities in the nation; and

• We had an endowment of $2.1 billion, placing us among the top 10 private universities.

But I stressed: "We must enhance both our level of achievement and the rate at which we attain it, in order to take our place among the world's greatest universities within the next decade."

Few persons, if anyone, however, could have predicted how significantly, just eight years later, the University would have "accelerate[d] its ascent among the world's premier universities"—the singular goal of the Campaign for Washington University.

Few could have predicted that the Campaign would be concluded with gifts and commitments of more than double the tentative goal we had set in 1996 ... that we would have created a record 165 new endowed professorships ... that we would have about 20,000 applications each year for one of the approximately 1,300 spots in our freshman class ... that recognition of our achievement by the media and popular periodicals would rank us among the top dozen universities in America ... that one popular periodical would call the University "a hidden gem no more" ... or that one of the nation's leading newspapers would write, "Such an ascent is what almost every university strives for, but none have come close to matching Washington's success."

I am deeply grateful to everyone who has helped make this University what it is today. Washington University is better and stronger than ever. But there is still much to do. The investments alumni and friends have made in this University have better equipped us to address the challenges that face society in the 21st century, and I am very optimistic about the University's future.

As you read about the Campaign for Washington University and what it is helping enable the University to accomplish in service both to its students and society, I thank you for your past interest, support, and involvement with Washington University. And I ask your continued participation!

Mark S. Wrighton



Campaign co-chairs John McDonnell (left) and Sam Fox

Campaign Highlights

Endowment for Scholarships
Goal:  $175.0 million to attract and engage outstanding students
Secured:  $185.1 million, more than doubling the endowment for that purpose prior to the Campaign

Endowment—Exclusive of Scholarships
Goal:  $275.0 million for various purposes
Secured:  $445.6 million, including gifts and commitments for a record 165 new endowed professorships

Academic Programs, Student Life, and Libraries
Goal:  $300.0 million for ongoing and endowed support
Secured:  $558.5 million to support new and existing academic programs, enhance student life, and strengthen the libraries

Facilities—New Construction and Renovation
Goal:  $150.0 million to ensure a physical plant that best serves the needs of a world-class university
Secured:  $180.9 million toward completed construction of 26 new buildings and renovation of others

Unrestricted Annual Support
Goal:  $100.0 million to ensure the present and invest in the future
Secured:  $114.6 million, including gifts from some 59,940 alumni (55% of those on record)

A Special Report on the Campaign for Washington University
by Marvin R. Meinz, Senior Director, Special Development Communications Projects