Yale Completes Most Successful Capital Campaign in History of Higher Education

Yale University has completed the largest capital campaign in the history of higher education, raising a record $1.7 billion over five years, President Richard C. Levin announced today. The $1.7 billion total is $200 million more than both the University’s goal and the previous high for a campaign by a college or university.

“On the threshold of its fourth century, Yale’s capacity to educate leaders and advance the frontiers of knowledge has never been greater,” President Levin said. “The generous support of more than 100,000 donors will help Yale to fulfill its teaching and research missions for many, many years to come.”

The “… and for Yale” Campaign generated $641 million for current support of University programs, $636 million for the University’s endowment, and $424 million for Yale’s facilities.

“All three campaign objectives have been realized. We are enhancing the excellence of our current programs, helping to ensure the quality of education for generations to come, and literally rebuilding much of our historic campus,” President Levin said.

The President noted that the University’s extensive financial aid program was supported by campaign gifts of $107 million to the endowment, as well as by campaign gifts for current use. Yale is one of a declining number of institutions that admits undergraduates without regard to their financial means, and then meets their demonstrated financial need in full. As a result of this “need-blind” admission policy, more than 40 percent of Yale undergraduates qualify for scholarship grants from the University averaging about $13,000 a year.

“Yale has been ‘need-blind’ for 34 years, and our alumni and friends strongly support our efforts to maintain this important commitment,” President Levin said, noting that the University’s financial aid policies have helped to produce a diverse undergraduate student body. Most Yale College students attended public high schools, and 30 percent of the students identify themselves as members of a minority group. Yale also provides extensive financial aid to graduate and professional students. The University has budgeted $112 million for total student financial aid in the 1997-98 academic year.

Terry M. Holcombe, Yale’s vice president for development and alumni affairs, said $1.33 billion of the “… and for Yale” campaign’s contributions came from alumni and other individuals.

“Two-thirds of Yale’s alumni supported the campaign. They clearly place great value on their Yale education and endorse the ambitious course charted for the University,” Vice President Holcombe said. Nearly a fifth of the campaign’s contributions came from foundations and corporations.

Campaign Chair John J. Lee, who is a member of the Yale Corporation, the University’s governing body, said, “The success of the campaign is a wonderful validation of the present University leadership and reflects strong alumni support for the University’s goals and objectives. This remarkable support bodes well for the University’s future; the singular accomplishment of the campaign serves as a wonderful launching pad for Yale’s fourth century.”

Yale’s achievement of raising $424 million for facilities was particularly noteworthy, Vice President Holcombe said, because garnering support for the renovation of existing facilities is typically a challenge for educational institutions. “The pressing needs of our historic facilities were clear, however, and our donors responded with notable generosity,” he said.

Many of Yale’s buildings were constructed before 1940, and are undergoing or are in need of extensive reconstruction. During the campaign, donors contributed $65 million for residential facilities, $55 million for science facilities, and $40 million for athletic facilities. Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library, completed in 1931 and the repository of four million of the University’s 10 million books, is receiving renovations costing $35 million in campaign funds. The renovations include an advanced climate control system to preserve the library’s books.

New construction made possible by the campaign includes the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Center for Molecular and Structural Biology, a state-of-the-art laboratory complex that provides the utmost in research capability and safety for scholars, and Henry R. Luce Hall, home to Yale’s Center for International and Area Studies.

During the 1997-98 academic year, Yale will spend $253 million on capital projects, including building renovations and new construction. Many of the capital projects are multi-year, and the total cost of all the capital projects that will receive a portion of the 1997-98 funding is $717 million.

In addition to supporting student financial aid, campaign gifts to the University’s endowment will support numerous professorships, and create funds for library acquisitions, art collections, and student activities.

Contributions for current use by Yale will support a host of purposes, including medical research, athletics, University museum and gallery exhibits, and community projects Yale undertakes in partnership with its host city of New Haven.

Yale launched the $1.5 billion “… and for Yale” campaign in May 1992, announcing a drive to raise $500 million for facilities, $500 million for current use in support of programs, and $500 million for the University’s endowment, which has provided about 14 percent of the University’s operating revenues over the last decade. The campaign concluded June 30, 1997. Yale’s previous five-year campaign, completed in 1979, raised $374 million.

Founded in 1701, Yale University is poised to celebrate its 300th birthday in 2001. In addition to Yale College, which has an enrollment of 5,300, Yale University has a graduate school of arts and sciences and professional schools in law, medicine, art, architecture, divinity, management, drama, music, nursing, and forestry and environmental studies, all of which participated in the “… and for Yale” campaign effort, as did the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, and the University’s Peabody Museum of Natural History. Total student enrollment at Yale is approximately 11,000.

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Media Contact

Tom Conroy: tom.conroy@yale.edu, 203-432-1345