Now in its final year of fundraising, Campaign Emory has raised nearly 90 percent of its $1.6 billion goal since its initiation in 2005. The campaign aims to increase the endowment and provide resources to improve and build new facilities, fund University programs and enhance support for teaching, research and other academic pursuits in the Emory community, according to the Campaign Emory website.
With $200 million left to raise by December, the campaign is in its final phase. The silent phase, when the campaign was not made public, began in September 2005. The public phase of Campaign Emory, a part of the University’s greater Strategic Plan, was launched in September 2008. By then, the campaign had raised more than half of its ultimate goal.
Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Susan Cruse said the remainder of the campaign goal, to be completed by Dec. 31, 2012, is “not an insignificant goal” and will require “everyone working their all” to achieve.
Walter “Sonny” Deriso (’68C, ’72L), Campaign Emory volunteer chair, wrote in a statement on the campaign’s website that Campaign Emory is “the most ambitious fundraising effort in the University’s history — tied to Emory’s most ambitious strategic plan.” He added that Emory will need the support of the entire community because “the last half of a fundraising drive is the real challenge.”
“Emory needs every one of you to help, not just with your gifts — although certainly with those — but also with your enthusiasm and your belief in what Emory will accomplish with these resources,” he wrote.
Five units — Campus Life, the Candler School of Theology, the Emory School of Medicine, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the Winship Cancer Institute — have already met and exceeded their goals, according to Cruse.
“We’re very excited about that; and they’re not stopping,” Cruse said. “It’s a nice checkmark, but you keep on going.”
This comes after the economic recession, which Cruse said affected the campaign primarily in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 both in terms of dollar amounts and the timing of when contributions were being made.
“Nationally, I think universities averaged drops of 20 to 25 percent,” she said, adding that many campaigns remained in the silent phase during the recession. “We’re beginning to come out of that recession.”
FY2011 experienced a surge in donations due to strategic implementation of “fabulous opportunities” from perspective donors, Cruse explained. She attributed part of the success to a collaboration with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which captured the imagination of donors in the greater Atlanta area.
Despite what Cruse said is still a “sluggish economy,” the momentum going into the final year of the campaign comes from the public’s uncertainty about legislation and the prospect of a new president.
“People are all really getting on board to make this a reality,” she said.
Campaign Emory has already impacted the University, Cruse said. Emory has seen new buildings across campus, added multiple endowments, supported new programs and fuels the aspirations of the Strategic Plan to provide the excellence that students and alumni have come to expect, according to Cruse.
After the conclusion of Campaign Emory, Cruse said that fundraising will continue and that the board has plans to schedule its next campaign.
“Even though we’re looking forward to a successful campaign close, the needs and opportunities at Emory are so great,” she said. “The campaign was based on a stretch goal, but it does not mean there are not needs and priorities that need to be funded.”
Cruse said that the driving force behind the campaign is the alumni, friends of the University, faculty and staff, community members and more, who support Emory’s message.
“These are the people who believe so much in the University and who have contributed so our students can have the best education possible,” Cruse said.
News Editor Jordan Friedman contributed reporting.
— Contact Alice Chen.