Fundraising Campaign Supports University Priorities

Posted: March 29, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Denise St. Ours

Nearly $112 million has been raised for The Campaign for George Mason University, which began July 1, 1998, and runs through June 30, 2005. This represents 77,626 gifts and commitments from 36,480 donors. The majority of the gifts and commitments are restricted by the donors to support priorities within each unit of the university. Those priorities include scholarships, faculty endowment, research programs, student services, facilities, and community outreach activities.

Leading the units, based on campaign gifts and commitments, are the Mercatus Center ($22.7 million), College of Arts and Sciences ($18.5 million), Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution ($15.2 million), School of Law ($14.2 million), and the School of Public Policy ($8.2 million).

In February, the campaign moved beyond its goal to raise a minimum of $110 million and now seeks to exceed that initial fundraising target by a substantial margin. The following is a sampling of major campaign accomplishments to date:

  • Funding of 68 endowed scholarships, 10 faculty position endowments, and 5 term professorships

  • Establishment of the Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities

  • Recruitment of Professor Vernon Smith, now a Nobel laureate, and his team of economists

  • Renovation of the nursing clinical simulation laboratories and technology media center

  • Creation of the September 11 Digital Archive by the Center for History and New Media

  • Production of Sesno Reports on WETA-TV

Current projects include advancing the creation of an international retreat and conference center on property donated by the Lynch family at Mason Neck, Va., and enhancing the College of Visual and Performing Arts dance and music facilities through a commitment from Don and Nancy de Laski.

Of the $112 million campaign total to date, $74.5 million has been given or pledged for current restricted use. Funds designated for current use create immediate impact and provide funding for scholarships and the more than 600 restricted projects established by the deans, provost, and president.

Nearly $15.3 million has been raised during the campaign for the endowment. Four percent of the three-year rolling market average is available annually for expenditure. The endowment’s principal, or gift, cannot be spent, thus ensuring the endowment serves the university in perpetuity. Many of the endowments initiated in recent years were structured to include expendable funds for current use, helping to keep programs active during the economic downturn.

As of Dec. 31, the value of the endowment reached a record high of $37.6 million, thanks to new gifts and an upswing in the markets. The goal is to grow the endowment to $50 million by the close of the campaign.

Based on cumulative giving and pledges, the campaign includes 28 donors at the $1 million or above level and 101 donors between $100,000 and $999,999. Nearly half of the 36,480 donors are alumni, who have given a total of $4.8 million to the campaign.

Visit the campaign web site for more information about the progress of the university’s first comprehensive campaign.

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