Newswise — WASHINGTON—The George Washington University Friday publicly launched its largest fundraising campaign in the university’s nearly 200-year history.
“Making History: The Campaign for GW” is an ambitious and comprehensive $1 billion philanthropic campaign that builds upon “Vision 2021,” the strategic plan that will guide the university as it approaches its 200th anniversary in 2021.
The university already has raised more than $525 million toward the campaign goal. The seven-year campaign began with a quiet phase in July 2011.
“GW has made tremendous progress, and there is more to do. The campaign will build on our strengths and capitalize on unique opportunities,” said Nelson A. Carbonell, Jr., chair of the GW Board of Trustees. “The ‘Making History’ campaign will lead to incredible changes for every facet of GW.”
Two centuries ago, President George Washington envisioned a university in the nation’s capital that would serve as America’s intellectual hub and produce citizen leaders.
GW embodies this vision and is making its presence felt by growing its international research reputation in numerous disciplines and creating new cross-disciplinary institutes. GW has been able to build centers of learning and research such as the Global Women's Institute and Duquès Hall, where Ben Bernanke delivered his historic lecture series to business school students on the Federal Reserve’s work during the 2008 financial crisis.
“Our ambitious goal—1 billion dollars to be raised by June of 2018—will enable us to implement the strategic plan that was unanimously adopted last year by the Board of Trustees and provides the blueprint for achieving the full greatness that was always in this university’s future,” said GW President Steven Knapp.
The campaign will enable the university to take full advantage of its Washington, D.C., location to tackle society’s most pressing challenges, partner with influential organizations and provide a front-row seat to history in the making for students.
Breaking New Ground
GW is creating a leading research apparatus and building new state-of-the-art facilities that can quickly respond to the world’s changing priorities and foster solutions to its biggest challenges. Examples include the Science and Engineering Hall and Milken Institute School of Public Health; GW’s new museum, which will serve as a modern learning laboratory for students, faculty and scholars; and an increased focus on undergraduates involved in research and joint-research hires with government agencies and private entities.
GW’s highly collaborative, hands-on culture provides countless opportunities for students and faculty to use the knowledge they gain in their classrooms, labs and clinics to change the world. Additional philanthropic resources will enable the university to hire and retain renowned faculty members who will educate and inspire students; create an undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academy; institute additional aid packages to recruit top graduate students; and develop joint B.A./M.A. programs that provide students with advanced skills in a shorter period of time.
GW made a purposeful decision to rein in cost of attendance. In addition, the university implemented fixed-rate tuition and has increased financial aid significantly. “Making History” will build on this progress. The university will meet a higher proportion of financial need and make a GW education accessible to a broader, more diverse group of extraordinary students; establish diverse affinity-living residence groups to build stronger student communities; and renovate residence halls and athletics facilities to create additional, modernized space for student organizations, clubs and intramural sports. The university also will allocate significant funds to enhance student and career services.
The university launched the campaign at an event on the grounds of the Mount Vernon Estate on Friday. Dr. Knapp, Mr. Carbonell, B.S. ’85, and the Honorable B.J. Penn, M.S. ’80, former assistant secretary of the Navy for installations and environment and the inaugural chair of the campaign, officially launched the campaign by participating in a “coining ceremony.”
In honor of a longstanding military tradition and the university’s founder, the GW challenge coin symbolizes George Washington’s historic vision for a university, its continued growth and its vision for a robust future.
Mr. Carbonell ended the evening with a charge to alumni and donors to remember the country’s founding father’s vision and tasked the attendees to go forth and make history for GW.
“GW has momentum on its side,” said Michael Morsberger, vice president of development and alumni relations. “We recently received the largest gift in GW’s history for our school of public health, and our partnership with the Corcoran promises a renaissance for GW’s arts curriculum. Achievements like these are catalyzing an invigorated culture of philanthropy at the university. As a community, we welcome the challenge to once again answer our namesake’s call to greatness.”
The George Washington University
In the heart of the nation's capital with additional programs in Virginia, the George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. The university offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study, as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 130 countries.