Fundraising: Moderate Progress Marks Economically Challenging Year
Over the past three years, the division of University Advancement (UA) has transformed itself and its focus. Under the leadership of Vice Chancellor Ed Harris, who joined DU in June 2006, UA has restructured to accomplish fundraising goals set by Chancellor Robert Coombe for a major comprehensive campaign. The resulting focus on major and planned gifts has led to a dramatic increase in philanthropic support, with a record $76.1 million raised during the campaign’s first year. Nearly $191 million had been raised as of June 30, 2009, in the ongoing silent phase that began July 1, 2006.
Progress on the campaign during fiscal year 2009 was somewhat modest compared to the previous two years, largely owing to the nation’s economic climate. However, even factoring in the economy, the year was one of the best fundraising years in DU’s history. Among other successes, the year saw significant gains in unrestricted giving. Such gifts provided the financial flexibility to focus on a number of priorities, including establishing significant endowed scholarships in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the School of Art and Art History.
This year, the publication of a Chancellor’s Vision Statement formalized the campaign goals with a focus on people and programs. A series of major gifts supported his priorities and stood as evidence of the campaign’s progress.
- DU’s Myhren Gallery received a $6.9 million gift from the Dalbey family. The Dalbey Photographic Collection will enrich the gallery’s collection and student educational opportunities.
- William C. Petersen bequeathed $4 million to the School of Engineering and Computer Science for scholarships and facilities.
- Through a considerable bequest intention, James Mulligan and his wife, Joan Burleson, will establish an endowed fund to support comprehensive strategic planning.
- Through a $1 million challenge gift, an anonymous donor encouraged others to make endowed scholarship gifts to Sturm College of Law, matching these new scholarship gifts one to one.
- An anonymous donor made a momentum-building gift to the Academic Commons, a visionary new space for integrating collaborative learning and informal social interaction.
- The Bernard Osher Foundation established an endowed fund of $1 million for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which provides personal enrichment learning for older adults.
- Ralph and Trish Nagel donated $2.3 million to enhance visual arts education, with a special emphasis on painting and the construction of a new studio art building, as well as revitalization of the Shwayder Art Building.
- Trygve and Victoria Myhren also supported the priorities of the School of Art and Art History through a noteworthy gift, enhancing the endowment for the Myhren Gallery.
- DU received a $1.5 million unrestricted estate gift from William and Marcia Fairfield.
In addition to receiving substantial support for people and programs, the University received transformational gifts for campus building projects. DU celebrated the dedication of several facilities during fiscal year 2009 and anticipates more such celebrations in the coming years.
- In August 2008, DU dedicated Nagel Hall, the first “green” residence hall on campus. Named for Ralph and Trish Nagel, the facility provides beautifully functional spaces for all aspects of student life.
- Katherine A. Ruffatto Hall, named in honor of the daughter of Mike and Joan Ruffatto, broke ground in February 2009. The facility will be the new home of the Morgridge College of Education and the Learning Effectiveness Program, thanks to the generosity of Carrie and John Morgridge and the Ruffatto family. The Galena Outdoor Classroom, made possible through a gift from the Galena Foundation and situated in the Ruffatto Hall courtyard, will be an important addition to the facility’s learning spaces, providing a place for classes, informal meetings, guest lectures and collaborative small-group work by students.
- Through the vision of a small group of donors, a new soccer stadium and a weight-training facility for varsity athletes, both nearing completion, will aid in attracting the most outstanding student-athletes to DU.
- With a $5 million contribution from the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies prepared for an August 2009 opening of the SIÉ CHÉOU-KANG Center for International Security and Diplomacy. The SIÉ CHÉOU-KANG Chair in International Security and Diplomacy will anchor the school’s security program and lead in the development of the center’s program.
- A second addition to Cherrington Hall will house the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, a project that analyzes and forecasts long-term global change. The generosity of Frederick S. Pardee made the center possible.
In fiscal year 2009, UA continued to enhance its efforts to implement fundraising best practices. Through internal examination, strategic collaborations and increased budget efficiencies, UA continued to develop systems that maximize the accuracy and efficacy of its donor relations, gift acknowledgment, and data acquisition and management efforts, all with a focus on keeping fundraising costs as low as possible. Overall, development efforts at DU maintain momentum as the institution continues a focus on major gifts in the fourth year of the campaign.