‘Making History’ has raised more than $700 million in student, academic, research and capital project support.
By James Irwin
Eight months after the public launch of the largest philanthropic campaign in the nearly 200-year history of the George Washington University, the university has announced that the campaign has passed a milestone fundraising number.
Making History: The Campaign for GW—the $1 billion philanthropic effort that will bring the university into its third century by supporting its “Vision 2021” strategic plan—has raised more than $700 million to date, George Washington President Steven Knapp said Friday at a meeting of the Board of Trustees.
"The total, as of this morning, is almost $715 million," he said. "The campaign is proceeding very effectively. What we want to do is maintain and accelerate its process."
Making History, which began with a quiet phase in July 2011, launched publicly last June at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. More than 50,000 donors have contributed to the campaign, which aims to support students, enhance academics and break new ground through research and capital investments.
Milestone celebrations on and off campus will take place at Friday night’s men’s basketball game vs. Dayton and at alumni events around the world over the next month celebrating Washington’s 283rd birthday. Washington’s Feb. 22 birthday gives the university a fitting opportunity to celebrate the milestone and honor the university namesake’s vision of educating citizen leaders.
"The purpose of a campaign is not just to hit a goal, but to ratchet up the level of activity in fundraising across the institution to a new plateau from which we can ascend even further," Dr. Knapp said. "So it’s really a question of mobilizing not just our staff and volunteers but to make the seeking of philanthropic contributions to the university an integral and pervasive part of what we do as an institution."
Donors to the campaign have helped the university meet student financial need and enhance coordination among academic advising, career services and study abroad programs. GW offered more than $160 million in financial aid in 2012-13 through programs like the Power & Promise Fund. Since the summer of 2013, alumni and parent donors have provided the funds for GW to award more than $250,000 in Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fund grants to 144 students for summer internships.
Gifts during the Making History campaign also have promoted undergraduate research, supported new aid packages for graduate students and created endowed faculty positions. For example, Graduate School of Education and Human Development Advisory Board member and Professor Emerita Dorothy Moore and her late husband, Charles, established a graduate scholarship and professorship in international education at GSEHD. Other donations, like Luther Rice Society Advisory Council member Dean J. Coclin’s $50,000 commitment to support the new Science and Engineering Hall, have helped GW build modern research facilities to grow the university’s influence in the arts and humanities, sciences, engineering, medicine and public health.
"We need those funds in order to continue to serve our students, serve the nation and serve the world," Dr. Knapp said. "That’s the purpose of the campaign."