DATA: OFFICE OF ADVANCEMENT; KAVYA DEVARAKONDA/THE HOYA The campaign has passed its halfway point.
DATA: OFFICE OF ADVANCEMENT; KAVYA DEVARAKONDA/THE HOYA
The campaign has passed its halfway point.

Following last weekend’s public launch of Georgetown’s $1.5 billion capital campaign, the initiative remains on track to reach its goal by 2016 after reaching the $799 million mark Tuesday.

Raking in a number of verbal and written commitments, the Office of Advancement recorded a haul of $21 million over the weekend’s events. Vice President for Advancement R.Bartley Moore indicated that the campaign, which is expected to last 10 years, will meet its objectives.

“We are confident we will reach our goal in that timeframe,” Moore said.

To continue the push, the university is planning smaller-scale launch events in 10 major cities with strong alumni presence over the next 18 months and a student campaign drive slated for the spring semester.

Moore added that given an improvement in the economy, the goal may be either increased or met sooner than expected.

“Despite the economic challenges that all of us are living through, there is the possibility for us to continually improve our results for Georgetown year over year for the life of the campaign,” Moore said.

The flurry of speaker panels, toasts and galas on campus last weekend was scheduled to coincide with the usual annual fall meetings of the Board of Directors, Board of Regents, alumni Board of Governors and a number of other governing institutions. The festivities were paid for by the Office of Advancement, which did not receive extra funding to offset the significant expense of the project. Additionally, there was no registration fee for attendance.

“We bore the full expense because we thought it would be neither polite nor effective to charge people to attend the launch of a major fundraising campaign,” Moore said.

After beginning its quiet, first phase in July 2006, the $778 million raised before the public launch was the largest five-year fundraising effort in university history.

With just under $600 million of the total commitments in the bank, the rest of the commitments have been pledged for payment within five years.

For Moore, the goals of the weekend’s events were twofold.

“One was to demonstrate to our community of alumni, parents and friends how thoroughly and carefully we have thought through the objectives of this campaign,” he said. “The second objective was we wanted students to feel and see and be engaged by the events of the launch weekend. … It is important to me that students understand that we work as hard as we do … because it helps make everything that happens at the university, even right now, today, possible.”

Donations are separated into three categories. The first are current-use gifts which are meant by the donor to be spent immediately, such as scholarship donations. These make up 51 percent of the current campaign funds.

The endowment donations, which make up 41 percent of the money, are invested and then the annual return from the investment, assumed to be about 5 percent, is spent each year.

Capital gifts, which are intended for major, one-time infrastructure investments -— typically for buildings or equipment — compose 8 percent of the donations so far. The lower portion of funds earmarked for capital projects reflects the smaller emphasis on such improvements in contrast with previous campaigns, which included objectives like the Southwest Quadrangle.

“This is a comparatively less capital-intensive campaign,” Moore said.

Allocation of the $1.5 billion raised will take a four-pillar approach, according to Moore.

The first pillar, student access and excellence, will receive $500 million, with $400 million allocated to undergraduate programming and the remainder apportioned to graduate programming. The top priority of this allotment is financial aid, including both individual and aggregate needs.

The second pillar, faculty access and excellence, also will be granted $500 million for salaries and research.

The third pillar consists of $200 million for student life and capital expansion, including funding for the planned Intercollegiate Athletic Center and New South Student Center. However, a majority of the sum will go toward programmatic improvements, including mission and ministry.

The fourth pillar, transformative opportunities, will be allocated $300 million. The most nebulous of the categories, transformative opportunities, is designed to advance the mission of the university in the future.

“As a part of the university-wide process of planning for the campaign, we asked every campus and every unit to identify big ambitions that to be truly transformative would require very significant levels of donor support,” Moore said. “We identified a smaller number of those we thought were … most promising or the likeliest to meaningfully engage our donor community.”

Prominent ideas include an expansion of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and an integrated environmental studies program. Moore emphasized that the focus of the pillar could change with donor feedback.

“In a way it is a free marketplace to see which receives the required level of donor support,” he said.

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