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UC Berkeley fundraising campaign raises $1.44 billion, the most ever collected by a public university
08 March 2001

Berkeley - Calling it "an unprecedented success in American higher education," University of California, Berkeley, Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl unveiled today (Thursday, March 8) the extraordinary results of a $1.1 billion campus fundraising campaign that seemed daunting when launched in 1993.

Berdahl said the Campaign for the New Century, which ended in December, surpassed its target, garnering $1.44 billion. The funds were critical to help to attract, strengthen and retain the best faculty members and students for UC Berkeley.

"This is the largest amount ever raised by a public university and the most raised by any university without a medical school," said Berdahl.

The previous record for fundraising by a public university was held by the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, which raised $1.41 billion in a campaign that ended in 1997. UCLA is in the midst of a campaign with a goal of $1.6 billion to be raised by 2002.

Hundreds of student scholarships and fellowships, as well as dozens of faculty chairs and distinguished professorships, will result from funds raised by the UC Berkeley campaign.

These private dollars, vital in an era when state funds account for only 35 percent of UC Berkeley's operating budget, also are crucial to building or modernizing campus facilities for teaching, research and student athletics.

"The Campaign for the New Century has helped to develop a new culture of private support for Cal," added Donald McQuade, vice chancellor for university relations. "We compete at the highest intellectual levels in teaching and research. We also need to marshal the same kind of private support to recruit and retain the best faculty and students in the world."

The $1.44 billion represents more than 500,000 gifts from UC Berkeley alumni and friends, including parents, as well as donations from corporations and foundations. McQuade said the home stretch of the campaign was particularly remarkable in that $240 million was raised in six short months - a record for UC Berkeley fundraising.

The campaign helped inspire student philanthropy as well. Graduating seniors, for example, contributed more than $140,000 in class gifts between 1996 and 2000 for a wide range of campus projects. Student telemarketers raised more than $2.2 million annually and contacted more than 100,000 alumni and the parents of nearly all students enrolled between 1993 and 2000.

Throughout the campaign, begun under former Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien, UC Berkeley also strengthened its ties to alumni from Silicon Valley to Asia. To build and improve relations with UC Berkeley alumni in Asia, UC Berkeley faculty members and fundraising volunteers traveled there to sponsor four Asian leadership conferences, which drew together business, academic and political leaders throughout the Pacific Rim.

The following amounts were raised to meet seven objectives:

* Boosting the Chancellor's Millennium Fund - $52.6 million will provide unrestricted gifts, to be used at the chancellor's discretion, for freshman seminars, fellowships, library acquisitions, undergraduate job programs, emergency grants and loans for students, and the Berkeley Pledge.

* Maintaining academic excellence - $181.5 million will fund 68 faculty chairs, 50 Distinguished Professorships and 501 graduate fellowships.

* Ensuring educational opportunity - $116.1 million will provide 928 undergraduate scholarships and expand K-12 outreach in California.

* Improving undergraduate life - $57.4 million made possible the new Walter A. Haas Jr. Pavilion sports complex, which includes classroom and laboratory space, and enabled the campus to expand the number of initiatives designed to encourage undergraduates to conduct research.

* Ensuring preeminence in the arts, humanities and social sciences - $72 million will fund library collections, performance and library facilities for the music department, and endowments. Among the beneficiaries are the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and a longtime archaeological research project in Nemea, Greece.

* Ensuring preeminence in the sciences and engineering - $160.7 million funds research to create new materials with industrial, medical and environmental applications, the Wills Neuroscience Center, endowments in science and engineering, and funding for bioengineering and the biomedical sciences.

* Providing ongoing support - $747.2 million will provide faculty research funds as well as support for school, college and department projects. Some of the featured projects involve UC Berkeley museums and Cal Performances.

In addition to these amounts, $56.8 million has not yet been designated to any of the above priorities.

Fundraising for the Campaign for the New Century began with a so-called "quiet phase" between 1993 and 1996, a time when UC Berkeley and other publicly supported universities in California were facing dramatic cuts in state support. The effects of the recession compounded the reductions.

At that time, former Chancellor Tien convened a panel of leading UC Berkeley alumni and friends, headed by UC Berkeley alumnus Peter E. Haas, chair of the executive committee and director of Levi Strauss & Co.

"The campaign makes it clear that the university can count on alumni and friends to help us strengthen our foundations of excellence," said Berdahl, "but it does not eliminate our dependence on the state's continuing core support for higher education."

The campaign was led by volunteers from the UC Berkeley Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing private support for the campus. They worked with staff members at University Relations and with fundraisers across the campus to raise this unprecedented amount.

McQuade said efforts already are under way post-campaign to continue to raise funds for UC Berkeley's Health Sciences Initiative and for the East Asian Library and Studies Center.

The Health Sciences Initiative is drawing together UC Berkeley scientists from a broad range of fields - from physics to biology - to solve some of today's most pressing health problems. The $400 million initiative involves constructing two new buildings to house interdisciplinary teams of researchers.

The new East Asian Library and Studies Center will unite under one roof the existing East Asian Library, the Institute of East Asian Studies and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. The building will house one of the finest and most comprehensive centers in the world for the study of East Asia.

The success of the Campaign for the New Century is "a milestone," said Berdahl, "and a continuing challenge."

"For UC Berkeley to remain the most distinguished public research university in the world," he said, "we need to leverage the unprecedented success of the campaign into establishing traditions of private giving for generations to come."