The university’s capital campaign, “For Generations to Come: The Campaign for Georgetown,” has passed its goal of $1.5 billion, nearly a year ahead of schedule.
University President John J. DeGioia announced the milestone, which was hit at the end of August, in a university-wide email yesterday.
Launched in October 2011, the project is divided into four objectives: ensuring access for students, enhancing student life and community experience, pursuing transformative opportunities and promoting faculty excellence and academic excellence.
In a statement to The Hoya, DeGioia emphasized the immense accomplishment that this milestone represents.
“We began this campaign by setting out a new and ambitious goal for our university — a recognition of the extraordinary commitment to service and leadership that defines the Georgetown community,” DeGioia wrote.
DeGioia said that the goal was achieved thanks to a large amount of donations from alumni, parents and other donors over the past few years.
“I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the 100,000 alumni and other donors who have shown their support during this campaign and have helped to share and shape our vision for Georgetown’s future,” DeGioia wrote.
The campaign has raised $373 million for student scholarships — quadrupling past annual results — and has increased alumni participation in annual giving by nearly 40 percent.
So far, the campaign has endowed and established multiple centers, buildings and programs at Georgetown, including the McCourt School of Public Policy in 2013, the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation in 2014, the Steers Center for Global Real Estate in May 2015 and the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center, slated to open August 2016.
The milestone comes with a renewed emphasis from university officials to increase Georgetown’s endowment, which was valued at $1.4 billion at the end of the 2014 fiscal year. Since then, parts of the endowment have been allocated toward specific projects.
According to William Doyle (CAS ’72), current chair of the university’s board of directors and chair of the Campaign for Georgetown, the campaign still has to expand its funding for financial aid.
“There are still several important objectives to accomplish, most notably scholarships and financial aid, which benefit every single aspect of the entire university,” Doyle wrote on the university website in a post published yesterday.
The campaign will continue to solicit contributions until June 30, 2016, focusing on two priorities — raising $500 million for student scholarships and seeking an overall 35 percent undergraduate alumni participation rate.
Undergraduate involvement in the campaign has been particularly evident through the “One for Georgetown” campaign by the 1634 Society, an organization founded in 2011 with the goal of increasing young alumni giving through garnering initial donations from current students. Another major initiative that has contributed to the funding is Phonathon, in which students call alumni to ask for donations.
With large-scale fundraising efforts beginning only in the 1970s, Georgetown has a relatively modest endowment, in contrast with academically comparable universities. According to a 2014 NACUBO-Commonfund Study on Endowments, the University of Notre Dame has an endowment of approximately $8 billion, the University of Pennsylvania’s endowment is approximately $9.6 billion and Harvard University’s endowment is valued at $35.9 billion.
In comparison to Georgetown’s $1.5 billion fundraising campaign target, Harvard launched a $6.5 billion fundraising campaign in September 2013, and has already raised over $4.8 billion as of January 2015.
Doyle said that Georgetown needs to keep building on current momentum to accomplish further objectives.
“We’ve surpassed the original dollar goal and we’re justifiably proud about that, but we want to keep building momentum until the very end,” Doyle wrote.