October 23, 2011

Cornell Increases Fundraising Goal to $4.75 Billion

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The University launched a re-branded fundraising campaign on Friday with a new goal: Raise a total of $4.75 billion by 2015.

The campaign, now called “Cornell Now,” originally began in 2006 as “Far Above… The Campaign for Cornell.”

It has already raised $3.3 billion, although the campaign originally aimed to raise $4 billion within five years — by 2011.

Cornell hopes to raise the additional $1.45 billion to reach its goal in time for its sesquicentennial celebration in 2015.

President David Skorton announced the goal during his State of the University speech Friday morning.

He delivered the speech in a packed Statler Auditorium in front of trustees, donors and other members of the Cornell community.

“To realize our aspirations, we need the engagement, guidance, help and support of every person in this room and tens of thousands of loyal Cornellians around the country and the world,” Skorton said.

The money will be used to hire new faculty, create and maintain scholarships, promote the humanities and other specific areas of academia, as well as other priorities, according to the University.

In his speech, Skorton laid out the goals he wants Cornell to achieve by 2015.

“Cornell will tap the breadth and depth of our expertise to effect solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges — from securing a sustainable future, to promoting health and curing disease, to securing the humanistic foundation of knowledge and ethics — while also responding to the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly interconnected global society,” he said, according to prepared remarks.

The campaign slowed during the financial crisis beginning in 2008, leaving it about $700 million short of its original goal. However, it still set a fundraising record for Cornell, Skorton said.

“‘Cornell Now’ will build on our success and make a significant impact on the University at a critical juncture. The generosity and commitment among Cornellians is tremendous, and we have every reason to move forward with renewed confidence,” said Charlie Phlegar, vice president for alumni affairs and development, according to a University statement.

Original Author: Michael Linhorst