Students in Eisenhower Auditorium who were part of the Grand Destiny celebration proudly
display the $1 billion fund-raising goal. The campaign, which has already raised $557 million
during its quiet phase, will run through June 30, 2003.
For more coverage of the campaign kickoff, click here.
For Private Giving announcements, click here.
Photo: Scott Johnson
By Michael Bezilla
Penn State has launched a campaign to raise $1 billion in private support to strengthen its mission of teaching, research and service to society. University President Graham B. Spanier said the campaign will run through June 30, 2003, and involve all 24 Penn State locations throughout Pennsylvania.
"To carry out its mission, Penn State depends on several major sources of revenue. Tuition, state appropriations and research grants form the foundation of our funding," said Spanier, "but philanthropy is increasingly important to us. To the extent that we raise the level of private giving to the University, we will also significantly improve educational experiences for our students, scholarly opportunities for our faculty and the effectiveness of our outreach programs. The end result is to increase Penn State's ability to make life better for all Pennsylvanians, and for society in general."
Edward R. Hintz, who serves as volunteer chair of the campaign, noted that the fund-raising effort began in its "quiet phase" on July 1, 1996.
"During this phase, we enlisted the support of some of our most generous benefactors and recruited several hundred campaign volunteers," he said. "Thanks in large part to their dedication and hard work, we have already raised approximately $557 million in gifts and pledges. Now the campaign is entering its public phase, which will give all Penn State alumni and friends the chance to participate in shaping the future of the University and its impact on society."
Hintz is a 1959 Penn State graduate and president of the Wall Street investment firm of Hintz, Holman, & Hecksher.
The fund-raising effort, titled A Grand Destiny: The Penn State Campaign, will have four featured objectives (see chart at right):
* Undergraduate support, about $249.6 million, primarily for endowed scholarships and other forms of student financial assistance. Such assistance enables Penn State to recruit academically deserving students and offer a college education to those students who might not otherwise be able to afford it.
* Graduate student support, $63 million, mainly for endowed fellowships, to recruit advanced-degree students. Graduate degrees are increasingly the "entry ticket" to leadership positions in business, science, engineering, the arts and humanities, and a variety of other professions.
* Faculty support, nearly $177 million, mostly in the form of endowed chairs and professorships, to recruit and retain the best available teachers and researchers and provide adequate resources for their research and creative pursuits.
* Program support, $122.4 million, to support research, teaching and outreach initiatives in areas of compelling societal interest and in which Penn State has special interdisciplinary strengths. Examples of areas to be included are children, youth and families; life sciences; information science and technology; environmental studies; and materials science.
Anticipated increases in annual giving will be used as seed money for new research projects, equipment acquisitions, outreach programs such as public broadcasting and the World Campus, and new and renovated facilities. Donors have the opportunity to designate their gifts to the areas of their choice.
Edward P. Junker III, chair of the University's Board of Trustees and retired vice chairman of PNC Bank Corp., noted that the Trustees have officially approved the campaign and support its objectives.
"I'm especially pleased to note that, to date, members of the Board and Trustees emeritus have collectively committed more than $60 million in personal and matching gifts to this campaign," Junker said. "We also have 100 percent participation in giving from this group."
Campaign gifts to date have already had a major impact on the University. For example, alumni and friends since July 1, 1996, have made commitments exceeding $181 million for student financial aid. Donors have endowed more than 20 faculty chairs and professorships. The largest campaign gift to date came from William and Joan Schreyer, who gave $30 million to create The Schreyer Honors College, which enrolls about 1,800 undergraduates.
"All gifts, at every level, will play a significant role in helping Penn State," said President Spanier. "We especially welcome gifts that create or add to endowments, which will provide the kind of dependable support year after year that the University needs for long-range planning."
The University invests endowed gifts and uses part of the income to support the programs selected by the donors. The remaining income is returned to the principal to assure further growth and protect it from inflation.
Each Penn State location throughout the Commonwealth is participating in the Grand Destiny campaign. However, the campaign timetable will vary according to the circumstances of the communities served by each location.
"We selected A Grand Destiny as the name for this campaign because it reflects the potential not only for Penn State's future, but the future of each of its students and faculty -- virtually every one of them will benefit from private support," said Hintz. The Grand Destiny campaign is Penn State's second comprehensive fund-raising effort. The Campaign for Penn State, a six-year initiative that ended in 1990, raised $352 million for academic programs.
Serving as honorary chairs for the Grand Destiny campaign are Robert E. Eberly, chairman of the board of Eberly and Meade of Uniontown; Penn State head football Coach Joe Paterno; William A. Schreyer, chairman emeritus of Merrill Lynch & Co.; and Frank Smeal, retired financial executive with Goldman Sachs & Co.
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