by José Rodríguez
Berkeley raised gifts totaling $182.4 million in the 199697 fiscal year ending June 30, representing the greatest number of contributions in a single year, Chancellor Berdahl announced Aug. 6.
This brings the amount Berkeley has raised in its current fund-raising campaign to $638 million.
The Campaign for the New Century has a goal of raising $1.1 billion for students and faculty by the start of the year 2001.
"It's enormously gratifying to walk into this university as the new chancellor and see the groundwork of this fund-raising campaign so well laid," said Berdahl, who in July became the campus's eighth chancellor.
"The stakes are high in this campaign. If Berkeley is to remain the pre-eminent public university in the land and secure its place as the academic institution of the Pacific Rim, we must continue building on the foundation of private support by alumni and friends. These totals are a wonderful sign of success so far."
The total amount raised is the second-highest ever for the university and represents 66,600 individual gifts, the record for any year.
University officials said this reflects a greater emphasis by Berkeley on encouraging more individuals to give to the campus-a strategy that favors more participation by alumni and friends, regardless of the size of gifts.
Berkeley launched its campaign publicly in September 1996, following a period of "quiet" fund raising to test the climate for giving by alumni and friends of the university.
The campaign is partly in response to the decline in state support for Berkeley in the last seven years. Direct state support, including contracts, now accounts for about 38 percent of Berkeley's budget, compared to 52 percent in 1985.
The funds raised in the campaign, while not a substitute for lost state and federal funds, will build new programs on campus and help students and faculty in direct ways, by creating scholarships and professorships.
They also help steer the campus toward a steadier fiscal course.