Campaign hits billion-dollar mark

Campaign Minnesota has made history. The University is the first organization in Minnesota to raise $1 billion in gifts through a fundraising campaign and one of only a handful of public universities to do so nationally. Total giving to Campaign Minnesota through December 2000 is $1,001,078,585—77 percent of the $1.3 billion campaign goal. IT has raised $90 million of its $160 million goal. But reaching the $1 billion mark doesn't mean an immediate windfall for the University. Most of the funds raised through the campaign will go to endowments that keep the principal intact and use only a portion of the interest earnings. Such endowments grow over time, and the University won't realize their full value for many years.

Support for Campaign Minnesota has been broad. More than half of the campaign gifts are from alumni and other individuals, with the remaining amount from foundations, corporations, and other organizations. University faculty and staff are among the campaign's 150,000 donors and have given more than $30 million through December. Although this milestone is cause for celebration, the University needs continued support to reach its campaign goal by 2003. For example, only half of the $225 million goal to support student scholarships and fellowships has been raised.

"Brainpower is the state's most critical resource,” says Yudof. “But competition for top students is intense, with many other universities now offering more and larger merit-based scholarships and fellowships. If we are going to keep the best and brightest of Minnesota's students here in the state, we will have to be able to compete for them."

The goal of Campaign Minnesota is to raise $540 million in new endowment funds for faculty, students, and strategic investments, and $760 million for ongoing program support.