Propelled by a reunion weekend that broke fundraising records, Georgetown’s ongoing capital campaign secured $179 million in donations in fiscal year 2012.

The campaign, titled “The Campaign for Georgetown: For Generations to Come,” is a 10-year, $1.5 billion fundraising effort that was publicly launched last fall. Fiscal year 2012 was the first of the campaign’s public phase, but the initiative has been quietly collecting funds since 2007. Thus far, the campaign has earned $919 million, more than 60 percent of its goal.

The $179 million raised this fiscal year, which ended in June, made it the second most successful fundraising year in the university’s history and topped the campaign’s initial goal of $137 million by about 30 percent.

“We expected that the launch year would be a very strong year … but I was very pleasantly surprised by how substantially we exceeded the goal,” Vice President for Advancement Bart Moore said.

The year’s fundraising was buoyed by almost $80 million in contributions from this year’s reunion classes, which gather every five years. This number topped the previous record for a five-year reunion cycle — $47 million — by 70 percent.

According to Moore, a large amount of the campaign’s total fundraising has come from especially large donations: Gifts of $1 million or more accounted for almost half of this year’s total results.

“There’s a disproportionate impact of a relatively small number of the biggest gifts,” Moore said.

He added, however, that the university is hoping to expand its donor base, which would increase the number of alumni who give to the school.

“It is very important to us that people consider Georgetown worthy of their giving, no matter how big or small their gift might be,” Moore said.

According to Moore, Georgetown has made strides in that direction. This year, undergraduate donation participation topped 30 percent for the first time since 2006, a statistic that could potentially impact Georgetown’s spot in national rankings. According to U.S. News and World Report’s annual college survey, Georgetown currently ranks 30th nationwide in undergraduate alumni donations.

“We believe we can and should do better than that,” Moore said. “The passion for and the commitment to Georgetown [are] absolutely present. … We think we need to do a better job of making the case and facilitating people’s annual practice of giving to the university.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that undergraduate donation participation topped 50 percent this year for the first time since 2006. The actual number is 30 percent. Georgetown also ranks 30th nationwide in this metric, not 28th. The corrected version was posted at 3:28 p.m. on Aug. 28.

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