News | Administration

Columbia sets Ivy record, raises over $6.1 billion in capital campaign

  • Record breaking | The $6.1 billion raised by Columbia in its capital campaign is more than any other Ivy has raised in a single fundraising effort to date, and is second only to Stanford as the largest sum raised by any university.

Updated, Jan. 31, 7:18 p.m.

Columbia’s capital campaign raised more than $6.1 billion, an Ivy League record for funds raised in a single campaign and the second largest sum raised by any university.

University President Lee Bollinger announced the final total of the campaign, which ended on Dec. 31, 2013, after eight years, in an email to alumni on Thursday.

Bollinger said that more than $1 billion was raised for student financial aid across all schools and colleges, almost another $1 billion was raised for 40 different facilities projects, and more than 260 professorships were endowed.

A full breakdown of the funds that will be going toward faculty, financial aid, research, and facilities will be announced April 3 at an event celebrating the campaign.

The campaign, launched in 2006, was originally conceived to raise $4 billion for all schools and colleges within the University, but that goal was increased by trustees over the years as funds kept flowing in. The campaign reached its $5 billion goal in the summer of 2012. A previous campaign, which ran from 1988 to the end of 2000, raised a little over $2.5 billion.

“None of us began this effort imagining we would exceed $6 billion,” Fred Van Sickle, the executive vice president for University development and alumni relations, said in an email. 

According to Jerry Kisslinger, the chief creative office in the Office of Alumni and Development, the largest donor was John Kluge, CC ’37, who donated $400 million in 2007 to be used for scholarships.

Kisslinger said that nearly half the donors to the capital campaign were new donors. More than 128,000 new donors contributed to the campaign.

“There’s been a tremendous emphasis in the past decade on both the University-wide energy and what schools are doing to engage their alumni,” Kisslinger said.

“The Campaign shows that Columbia alumni respond to our invitations for engagement and to ‘big ideas’ that are transforming the University,” Van Sickle said. 

According to Bollinger’s email, donors to the capital campaign spanned 141 countries and included 128,000 supporters who had not donated to the University previously.

While Columbia’s $6.1 billion dwarfs the fundraising totals of Yale and Penn in their recent capital campaigns, Harvard is looking to set a new record of $6.5 billion with the five-year capital campaign that it launched in September 2013.

At the moment, Columbia’s fundraising total is the largest sum raised by any university with the exception of Stanford, which raised $6.2 billion in its capital campaign that ended in 2011.

Van Sickle said that there are currently no plans to launch a new capital campaign, but that the University will continue to expand its fundraising efforts. 

“The Campaign’s conclusion and success inspires us to continue our efforts,” Van Sickle said. “There are even more big ideas being contemplated now than in 2004.”   

yasemin.akcaguner@columbiaspectator  |  @y_akcaguner

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that more than half of the donations came from young alumni. They actually came from new donors. Additionally, an earlier version of this story misstated Jerry Kisslinger's title. Spectator regrets the errors.

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Anonymous posted on

Congratulations Columbia! Keep it going.

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Anonymous posted on

For the record, Stanford's campaign was a year longer than Columbia's, as Harvard's will be as well.

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ungvar posted on

Nope, Stanford's was two years shorter. Check your facts. Stanford's pulled in close to $1 billion in some years; we top out in the $600 million range. Silicon Valley's a real money machine for them. All the more reason to support our engineering school.

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Anonymous posted on

Also, Stanford's administration doesn't treat its students like walking potential lawsuits.

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Anonymous posted on

Stanford had a three year silent phase before the campaign was announced which raised over 2 and a half billion. That was included in the total. Harvard has also just concluded its three year "silent phase" and has announced the beginning of the campaign with over 2 billion as well. You are correct that Stanford generally speaking for the last few years does lead in average yearly donations. Columbia and Harvard are generally in the top three.

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ungvar posted on

Columbia also had a silent period of about the same length.

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mary smith posted on

As like title said, Columbia set the new record here. I think every city and state should have to take notice in it and have to improvise them self as well. The flow which has been in this post is amazing. It will make you engaged with them.
-http://post-me.org/

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Anonymous posted on

This total does not include the affiliated schools with separate endowments like Barnard, Teacher College, etc.

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Anonymous posted on

Columbia raised $6.1 Billion dollars, yet my dorm still doesn't have air conditioning.

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CU_Alum posted on

The chart is a bit misleading, since it compares the target amounts for Cornell and Harvard with the actual amounts raised by the other schools. Columbia's target was $5 billion, but it actually raised a lot more. Stanford, Yale, and Penn also raised more than their stated goals. Cornell and Harvard will likely exceed their goals, too.

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Anonymous posted on

Agreed. The chart should only show completed campaigns. Projected campaigns should not be in the gragh.

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