Capital campaign raises $1.44 billion
Effort strengthens academic excellence with highest total giving at public university

By José L. Rodríguez, Development Communications



07 March 2001 | The Campaign for the New Century, begun against the backdrop of recession and state budget cuts, has ended with a final fundraising total announced this week that may astound even the most ardent optimist: $1.44 billion.

The total raised between July 1993 and December 2000 is the most ever raised by a public university — and the most by any university without a medical school.

The unprecedented total creates new scholarships, fellowships, and professorships, grows innovative campus programs, and bolsters K–12 outreach throughout California — all to attract, support, and retain the best faculty and students. New or modernized campus facilities for teaching, research and student athletics are also a result of campaign funds.

The Campaign for the New Century was launched with an original target of $1.1 billion. The $1.44 billion actually raised represents more than 500,000 gifts from alumni and friends of Berkeley, including parents, as well as donations from corporations and foundations.

“Through the Campaign for the New Century, Berkeley has achieved an unprecedented success in American higher education,” said Chancellor Berdahl. “This represents a milestone and a continuing challenge. For Berkeley to remain the most distinguished public research university in the world, we need to leverage the success of the campaign into establishing traditions of private giving for generations to come.”

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, held the previous record for fundraising by a public university, raising $1.41 billion in a campaign that ended in 1997. UCLA is now engaged a campaign with a $1.6 billion goal to be raised by 2002.

Students and faculty will benefit immediately from the campaign and the buildings that have risen through private support. Major building projects funded by the campaign include the Hearst Memorial Mining Building renovation, Walter A. Haas Jr. Pavilion, and an expanded music library and performance space, still in the planning stage.

The dramatic rise in the value of Berkeley’s endowment — from $700 million at the start of the campaign to more than $2 billion at its close — is an enduring legacy of the campaign.

“Students not yet born and faculty not yet hired will be the beneficiaries of the generosity of our friends and the hard work you have done,” Chancellor Berdahl told a gathering of campuswide development and public affairs staff in announcing the campaign’s success on Tuesday.

The campaign succeeded in raising endowments to support 928 undergraduate scholarships, 501 graduate fellowships, and 118 faculty chairs and distinguished professorships.

Key to the success of the campaign was a jump in the participation of alumni. At the start of the campaign, 8.9 percent of Berkeley’s alumni made gifts to the campus; by its conclusion, 14 percent were giving. Each percentage increase represents about 5,000 new contributors.

“The Campaign for the New Century makes it clear that the university can count on alumni and friends to help us strengthen our foundations of excellence, but it does not eliminate the state’s continuing responsibility to provide core support for higher education,” said Berdahl.

State funds today account for 35 percent of Berkeley’s operating budget, with private support covering 12 percent. The balance comes from a variety of other sources, including tuition and fees, and state and federal contracts.

Through the campaign, Berkeley strengthened its ties to alumni, from Silicon Valley to Asia. The campus sponsored four Asian Leadership Conferences, drawing together business, academic, and political leaders throughout the Pacific Rim.

On campus, the campaign inspired student philanthropy. Graduating seniors, for example, contributed more than $140,000 in class gifts between 1996 and 2000 for a wide range of campus projects. Students also took part as telemarketers, raising more than $2.2 million annually and contacting more than 100,000 alumni and the parents of nearly all students enrolled between 1993 and 2000.

Fundraising for the Campaign for the New Century began in a so-called “quiet phase” between 1993 and 1996, at a time when Berkeley and other publicly supported universities in California were facing dramatic cuts in state support. The effects of the recession compounded the reductions.

At the time, former Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien convened a panel of leading alumni and friends, headed by Peter Haas, chair of the executive committee and director of Levi Strauss & Co. This group marshaled the early phase of the campaign by raising more than $480 million before the drive was formally announced in 1996.

The campaign was chaired by alumni Warren Hellman, John Hotchkis, Carl Stoney Jr., and Nadine Tang. Volunteers from the UC Berkeley Foundation worked with staff at University Relations and fundraising units across the campus to coordinate the drive.

Related links:

How $1.44 billion can make a difference
Top gifts of $10 million and above


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