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The final tally: Centennial Campaign raised $1.269 billion

The final results are in: Stanford University raised a grand total of $1.269 billion in its five-year Centennial Campaign ending in February - $14 million more than reported earlier.

John Ford, vice president for development, earned accolades and sustained applause when he reported the results to the Faculty Senate on Thursday, March 5.

The final total includes a backlog of gifts not yet processed when Ford announced the campaign's successful conclusion to university trustees Feb. 10-11. The total exceeds the original $1.1 billion campaign goal by $169 million.

Despite of the state of the national economy, the closing month of the campaign - February 1992 - produced $32.2 million, the largest monthly total except when large gifts from William Hewlett and David Packard were recorded.

Of the amount pledged, $1.12 billion already is in hand, Ford told the faculty.

Responding to a question from civil engineering Prof. Ray Levitt, Ford predicted some "trailing off" of gifts now that the campaign is over, but estimated annual giving would level off at about $170 million to $175 million. Before the campaign, gift totals were just over $100 million annually.

A lesson from earlier campaigns, Ford said, is that a strong follow-up after a concentrated development campaign produces continued high giving.

"At this point, we know what history suggests we should do, but we find ourselves in different budget circumstances," Ford said.

He said his office and its volunteer network have "developed a lot of relationships and opportunities to do a good deal more in the 1990s and beyond with people who gave $10,000 to $25,000 gifts" during the Centennial Campaign.

Among the campaign's outcomes:

  • It added $350 million to the university's endowment, including $37.6 million for undergraduate scholarships and $41.3 for graduate fellowships. Eighty-eight professorships were endowed, as well as positions for 15 faculty scholars, two directorships and four library curatorships.
  • The cumulative goal for "bricks and mortar" was too ambitious, Ford said, but $250 million was donated for facilities, including several in the Near West Campus. "We came within one fundamental gift to the Near West Campus of achieving our goal," he said.
  • Campaign gifts stimulated or started the undergraduate teaching initiative, undergraduate research opportunities, public service programs, multicultural programs, the engineering-business program in manufacturing management and the Center for the Study of Language and Information.
  • Campaign successes include endowed financial aid, endowed professorships, student residences, athletics, the Public Service Center and library endowment.
  • Campaign shortfalls - goals that fund-raisers did not meet - include improvements in Meyer Library, residential education programs, arts programs, and various centers and institutes.
  • Approximately 7,000 individuals participated as fund- raising volunteers, and approximately 54,000 alumni made gifts.
  • The university continued a pattern of generating a high percentage of gift dollars from a relatively small group of donors.

Donors like to make long-term investments, Ford said, hence the popularity of endowed scholarship funds and professorships. They also like "new and exciting endeavors" where goals and impact are clearly articulated.

"We have more difficulty raising gifts when objectives lack definition, clarity and advocacy," he said.

In addition, programs without established constituencies, such as the Humanities Center, the Institute for International Studies and the Chicano Research Center, tend to fall between the cracks, Ford said.

Each school has priority on its own alumni, which doesn't provide much opportunity to draw donors to centers and institutes, Ford said in response to a question from anthropology Prof. Renato Rosaldo. The Public Service Center, on the other hand, has successfully countered this problem, Ford said.

He warned that in a very decentralized environment, raising funds for centers and institutes could become even more difficult.

Praise for hard work

Political science Prof. Steve Krasner complimented Ford for an "extraordinary job," noting that the university faced an "astonishing amount of bad publicity" during the campaign.

Calling for an ovation, Prof. Charlotte Jacobs, medicine, said she was expressing "gratitude for the incredible effort and the sense of awe that many of us feel."

Ford acknowledged the contributions that faculty, university and volunteer leaders, alumni volunteers and staff made to the effort. He told the faculty that Development Office staff members understand their mission is to support Stanford's academic purposes.

"Despite a myriad of distractions throughout the campaign years, this group remained committed, focused and dedicated to our success," he said.

President Donald Kennedy, Provost James N. Rosse and Henry Riggs, former vice president for development, shaped the academic agenda, Ford said, with help from the deans and a senate oversight committee chaired by applied physics Prof. Calvin Quate.

Kennedy was "tireless" in explaining Stanford's aspirations and "boldly - believe me - boldly asked for large sums of money," Ford said.

Criticism of arts outcome

Art Prof. Albert Elsen challenged the suggestion that a large number of faculty were involved in the successful fund-raising effort, telling Ford that many in Humanities and Sciences felt they were not sufficiently involved. He asked why the school had to take a large budget cut in view of the fact that it got 37 endowed professorships out of a goal of 40.

Kennedy responded that it was "never true in any respect that the size of the Humanities and Sciences hit had anything to do with fund raising, negative or positive." A difference of $10 million or $20 million in endowment has little impact in solving an immediate cash flow problem of the magnitude recently faced, he said. Although the endowed chairs will help the school in the long- run, "it doesn't change the size of the problem we're trying to solve."

Rosse told Elsen that campaign organizers tried to get the arts programs to develop plans that could be incorporated in the campaign, but "that did not happen." The arts goal "was less than we wanted because we could not get the arts programs to generate the kind of program" ideas that were needed, Rosse said.

Elsen said he recalled that Rosse spoke at a Humanities Circle meeting early in the campaign, at which time "faculty members raised questions about their lack of involvement in the campaign." He labeled Rosse's recollection "interesting" and said he hoped others would respond to Rosse "if their recollection is any different."

Later, English Prof. Nancy Packer said that both Elsen and Rosse were wrong: The Creative Writing Program responded to a university request for fund-raising objectives, and fund-raisers met the established goals.

Rosse said campaign targets were set relative to past performance, but in Humanities and Sciences, the target was significantly higher. While it is true that the university did not reach the ambitious target, the result should be "celebrated, not castigated," he said.



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