In a letter being sent this week to all contributors to Harvards University Campaign, which ended on December 31, President Neil L. Rudenstine thanked them for advancing the Universitys teaching and research missions while establishing a new milestone in the history of philanthropy for higher education.
The Universitys donors contributed a total of $2.6 billion to Harvard since the campaign began in May 1994. Previously, during a meeting of the campaigns volunteer leadership at the Harvard Club of New York last October 6, Rudenstine had announced that the campaign would exceed its original goal of $2.1 billion.
The campaigns national co-chairs were Robert G. Stone Jr. 45; Rita E. Hauser, Law 58; Sidney R. Knafel 52, MBA 54; Thomas H. Lee 65; Katherine B. Loker; Richard L. Menschel, MBA 59; and William F. Thompson 50, MBA 54. Under their leadership, the campaign received broad support from more than 174,378 donors.
Thanks to the campaigns success, and an extensive and ongoing University-wide academic planning process, Harvard has made significant new investments in all aspects of its educational programs, including the sciences, the humanities, international studies, a broad range of interdisciplinary initiatives, and the educational uses of information technology. Another campaign priority has been assuring the accessibility of Harvards degree programs to all admitted students by increasing the availability of financial aid.
Among the campaigns many achievements were the establishment or strengthening of numerous academic centers, from the Hauser Center for the Study of Nonprofit Organizations to the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, from the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs to the Carr Center for Human Rights. The campaign also enabled Harvard to improve the infrastructure for teaching and learning through both the creative renovations of historic buildings such as Langdell Library and the Barker Center to the construction of new facilities such as Maxwell Dworkin and the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights.
A comprehensive report on the campaigns impact, and how it has helped the University become better positioned to meet the challenges of the new century, will be available in May.
“The fundamental measure of a campaigns success, of course, lies not primarily in the number of dollars raised, but in the vastly strengthened educational programs and opportunities that will together shape the future of our university: programs and opportunities that will enable us to attract the best possible faculty, students, and staff to Harvard, and to provide them with the essential resources they need to do their very best work,” Rudenstine wrote in his letter.