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University Campaign Crosses Milestone, Focuses on Remaining Priorities

September 10, 2015 – The university met its $1.5 billion campaign goal to support student scholarships, faculty research, the campus community experience and new academic initiatives 10 months early, President John J. DeGioia announced today.

While pausing to acknowledge and celebrate this accomplishment, university and volunteer leaders quickly emphasized that much remains to be done in the 10 months before the campaign officially closes on June 30, 2016.

“We began this campaign by setting out a new and ambitious goal for our university – a recognition of the extraordinary commitment to service and leadership that defines the Georgetown community,” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said.

A Hundred Thousand Donors

“I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the 100,000 alumni and other donors who have shown their support during this campaign and have helped to share and shape our vision for Georgetown's future," he added.

Campaign Chair William J. Doyle (C’72) echoed DeGioia’s gratitude.

“We’ve surpassed the original dollar goal and we’re justifiably proud about that, but we want to keep building momentum until the very end,” Doyle explained. “There are still several important objectives to accomplish, most notably scholarships and financial aid, which benefit every single aspect of the entire university.”

Far-Reaching Impact

The $1.5 billion committed to date supports specific investments and initiatives across the university, from student scholarships and academic programs to campus infrastructure and pioneering programs.

Some of the highlights of the campaign so far include:

  • Raising $373 million for student scholarships, almost quadrupling past annual results for scholarships
  • Increasing alumni participation in annual giving by almost 40 percent
  • Establishing the McCourt School of Public Policy with a $100 million philanthropic commitment, the largest gift in university history, from Frank. H. McCourt Jr. (C’75)
  • Establishing the Steers Center for Global Real Estate with agift from  industry luminary and past board member Robert H. Steers (B’75) and his wife, Lauren
  • Creating the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation through a $10 million gift from philanthropists Alberto and Olga María (SFS’81)
  • The creation of the McDevitt Faculty Endowment to support chairs in theology, philosophy, physics, computer science and law with a bequest from alumnus Robert McDevitt (C'40) and his wife, Catherine, that has since grown to over $110 million.
  • Launching the Georgetown Environment Initiative with a $20 million gift from an anonymous donor
  • Making substantial investments in campus facilities, including the Healey Family Student Center, Regents Hall, the Calcagnini Contemplative Center, the Dahlgren Chapel renovation and the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center (scheduled to open in August 2016).

Remaining Goals

In the final year of the For Generations to Come campaign, active fundraising will continue on an array of previously announced priorities, with special attention paid to building the scholarship endowment and reaching a historic level of participation

“Georgetown has raised more in scholarship funding within the nine years of this campaign than in the prior 216-year history of the university,” Doyle says,  “but this still has a considerable way to go to achieve its admittedly ambitious objective of $500 million.”

Doyle also notes that broad-based alumni participation in annual giving is the foundation of every university's fundraising efforts and every successful campaign.

“The public phase of this campaign included a commitment to increase the percentage of alumni giving annually from around 25 percent to 35 percent,” Doyle notes.  “Last year, giving reached an all-time high of 34.5 percent, and the plan is to shatter the 35 percent mark in 2015-16.”

Recent Gifts

An influx in recent gifts enabled Georgetown to cross the $1.5 billion line nearly a year ahead of schedule.

A bequest expectancy of $5 million from anonymous Georgetown parents will create a scholarship fund to recruit exceptional students who exhibit financial need.

Another recent gift came from James (M’72) and Christine Sehn, who funded a surgery research professorship within the School of Medicine that will be named in honor of Francis James Sehn, a pioneer in robotic engineering.

George W. Bilicic Jr. (L’88), a member of the Georgetown Law’s board of visitors, gave $1 million to create the Bilicic Family Endowed Scholarship Fund for aspiring law school students. 

Finally, an anonymous $2 million future gift through a trust will establish a faculty endowment within Georgetown University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics.

“These generous gifts, and countless others like them, ensure that Georgetown provides a rich and well-rounded education to undergraduates and graduates alike,” Doyle says,  “preparing all students to carry on the Jesuit tradition of ‘men and women for others’ in a changing world.”