The University Record, April 11, 1994

Largest fund-raising effort undertaken by a public university Campaign ‘achieves unprecedented level of private support’

By Mary Jo Frank

Midway through the U-M’s $1 billion Campaign for Michigan—the largest fund-raising campaign undertaken by a public university—gifts and pledges surpass $589 million.

“We are absolutely delighted with the progress of the Campaign to date. Beyond the thousands of donors and volunteers, we want to commend as well the great effort of our deans, faculty and development staff in raising the largest amount ever for a public university,” President James J. Duderstadt said.

Roy E. Muir, associate vice president for development and interim executive director of The Campaign for Michigan, said, “Overall we’re doing extremely well. We’re achieving an unprecedented level of private support.”

Fifty-three percent of the way through the Campaign calendar, the U-M has raised 59 percent of its overall goal.

“This landmark achievement in raising more than $500 million,” said Paul C. Boylan, vice provost for the arts and dean of the School of Music, “is really the result of the extraordinary effort of the deans of the schools and colleges working so cooperatively and effectively with the senior staff of the central Office of Development. I am deeply gratified by this clearly effective teamwork.”

The five-year Campaign, launched in September 1992, is gaining momentum. Gifts and pledges for the current year, July 1, 1993–June 30, 1994, are expected to total more than $100 million, the most the U-M has raised in a single year.

“The success of the Campaign is due to a number of factors,” according to Jon Cosovich, deputy to the president, “the most important of which are the quality of the institution and, obviously, the gift support of alumni and friends who are committed to a high level of quality and achievement in their University.”

Another important factor in the Campaign’s success, Cosovich said, is that the “University has in place one of the best development programs in the country, which has been built over the past dozen years and today serves as a model for such activities among major research universities in this country and abroad.

“The success of the development program depends on active participation of a large number of people both inside and outside the University, and Michigan benefits from that broad base of participation.”

Muir also credits much of the success of The Campaign for Michigan to the cooperative efforts of the schools and colleges, such non-academic units as the U-M Hospitals and intercollegiate athletics, and the Office of Development.

“We’ve had very active involvement of the deans, the development staff and volunteers from all of the schools and colleges working in a team effort with our office and more than 2,000 volunteers nationwide,” Muir said. “Without this kind of team effort, we could not mount a campaign of this scope,” he added.

The $1 billion Campaign goal includes $850 million in gifts and pledges, $340 million of which is for endowment. The goal also seeks $150 million in new bequest commitments; $86.5 million has been pledged.

The most significant challenge facing the Campaign at this time is raising endowment funds. The Campaign has raised more than $121 million, or 36 percent of the endowment goal. One of the cornerstones of the University’s financial structure, the endowment fund is an investment pool, the principal of which is preserved and the interest and dividend earnings used to support a variety of activities, including student aid, faculty positions and programs.

Provost Gilbert R. Whitaker Jr. said he “thinks the Campaign is going well in terms of total dollars. Our goal for the endowment component is falling short. The deans, president and I are all committed to putting together that component during the remaining three and one-half years of the campaign.”

Muir agreed that it will be important for the balance of the Campaign to focus on the endowment and other unfunded needs, including facilities. Of the $110 million goal for buildings, $64.9 million—59 percent—has been raised. The highest priorities include a new School of Social Work ($15 million) and the renovation of Hill Auditorium ($10 million). The facilities fundraising goal includes $25 million for the Cancer and Geriatrics Centers and $5 million for new tennis facilities.