University of Denver marks dual $400 million milestones
June 7th, 2013
By: Sarah Satterwhite

The University of Denver recently surpassed $400 million in ASCEND: The Campaign for the University of Denver, making this the most successful fundraising campaign in the University's history. Around the same time, the market value of the University's endowment also exceeded $400 million, marking the first fiscal year in DU's history in which the endowment has exceeded the size of the University's operating budget. This dual milestone demonstrates the University community's commitment to meeting emerging educational needs and to investing in the long-term financial health of our institution.

"This has been such a remarkable academic year, starting with the Presidential Debate, continuing with the opening of the Anderson Academic Commons that was supported by thousands of alumni and friends of the University, the announcement of the new STEM initiative, and culminating with passing the $400 million mark in both the campaign and the endowment," said Vice Chancellor Scott Lumpkin.

"This is our third strongest fundraising year in the ASCEND campaign and in DU's history, as well as the fourth consecutive year in which our fundraising totals have exceeded those of the previous year," said Lumpkin. "Most fundraising campaigns see a winding down in their final years, but as we prepare to start the last year of the ASCEND campaign, the University is in an amazingly strong position."

The $400 million milestones in fundraising and the endowment are a result of purposeful investment by donors and by the University itself. Resources from new gifts and from the endowment strengthen the educational experience by supporting University priorities like scholarships and interdisciplinary learning. And just as it provides essential resources for students, strong scholarship support is central to a sound financial future for any university.

Since the beginning of the campaign, more than $120 million have been committed to scholarships, and 480 new scholarships have been established for deserving students. Many of these scholarships open the door to a DU education to remarkable students who otherwise may not be able to attend here.

"Without my scholarship, I would not have the ability to study at an institute of higher education, let alone a prestigious one such as the University of Denver. I am forever indebted to the generosity of both my scholarship donor and the University of Denver for giving me the privilege and honor to continue my schooling at DU," said Stephen Budlong, a junior public policy and English double major.

In addition to increasing access to a DU education, gifts to the University also enrich the quality of the educational experience. The Anderson Academic Commons, which opened in March 2013 with the support of more than 5,000 donors, contains technological innovations that complement the scholastic and socially integrated lives of our students. The 154,223 square foot facility quickly became a hub of daily activity for students and the University community.

The University's new STEM initiative, which combines interdisciplinary programming and a new facility, is made possible through visionary gifts totaling more than $40 million from Daniel L. Ritchie, chancellor emeritus, Betty Knoebel, and the late Bill C. Petersen. It will immeasurably enhance the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at DU. The STEM initiative coincides with a dramatic increase in the number of student applications in those fields, and it will provide the capacity to meet that need. The new building that will house the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science is scheduled to break ground this fall.

Since July 2006, ASCEND: The Campaign for the University of Denver has drawn focus to the people and programs that are the heart of the University. In addition to the countless ways that gifts during the campaign have transformed DU, the campaign effort itself has increased the University's donor base. More than 41,000 donors have given to the University throughout the course of the campaign, and more than 50% of those are alumni. During the past two years, targeted programs have increased the giving rates among alumni, faculty and staff, students, and parents.

"As more of our alumni and friends have become involved over the past few years, the University has grown stronger," said Lumpkin. "And that is the secret to the University achieving its potential in the next 150 years – the participation of our alumni and our community in the life of DU."

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Ascend — The Campaign for the University of Denver