Harvard University announced on Saturday that it had begun a new campaign to raise $6.5-billion by 2018.
Money gathered by the Harvard Campaign will go to support a broad spectrum of activities at the university, with about 45 percent of the money earmarked for teaching and research, about 25 percent for financial aid and other student-oriented expenditures, and about 20 percent for construction projects, including an expansion of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and work on Harvard’s Allston campus and various residence houses.
The announcement ends the campaign’s “quiet phase,” which began two years ago and has raised $2.8-billion in gifts and pledges to date. That total includes a $125-million donation in May from an alumnus, Hansjörg Wyss, to support his namesake Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the largest individual gift so far.
In her speech announcing the start of the campaign’s public phase, the university’s president, Drew Gilpin Faust, said that the campaign was especially important in an age that “does not wait patiently and passively before us. It challenges us to meet the demands of change—change of sometimes dizzying variety and scope, change which comes at us with increasing speed and unpredictability.”
The campaign “aims to do more than merely extend or reinforce longstanding strength and eminence,” she said. “It is up to us to make sure that we continue to build, to lead, to advance in a world almost unimaginably different from the one our founders inhabited nearly four centuries ago.”
The Harvard Campaign’s goal exceeds even the most ambitious fund-raising campaigns in contemporary higher education. Stanford University ended its most recent campaign in 2012, having raised $6.2-billion in an effort originally designed to bring in $4.3-billion. The University of Southern California is in the midst of a campaign to raise $6-billion by 2018.
Harvard’s last fund-raising campaign—its first to be conducted universitywide—concluded in 1999, having raised $2.32-billion, exceeding a goal of $2.1-billion.