Yale launches comprehensive campaign ‘For Humanity’

For Humanity campaign launch
(Photo by Dan Renzetti)

Yale today launched the public phase of an ambitious, five-year capital campaign with a celebratory multi-media experience attended by alumni and friends across the globe. The campaign aims to raise $7 billion to help future generations of university faculty, students, and staff tackle the greatest challenges facing humankind.

Led by five co-chairs, Josh Bekenstein ’80, Nancy Better ’84, Donna Dubinsky ’77, Randy Nelson ’85, and Lei Zhang ’02 M.B.A., ’02 M.A., the “For Humanity” campaign is the largest and most comprehensive in Yale’s history. It aims to bolster the university’s unique resources to improve the world, strengthen the bonds among members of the Yale community, and bolster Yale’s foundation for the future.

The campaign recognizes that the work done at Yale can benefit the world beyond. And it places renewed focus on the responsibility that comes with capability, targeting future investments in ways that will advance scholarship, research, scientific breakthroughs, and access.

Through this campaign, we will provide vital support for Yale faculty, students, and staff who are leading work that has the potential to transform society, deepen human understanding, and open doors to greater prosperity and well-being for millions,” said Yale President Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D.

In remarks during the online program earlier today, Salovey challenged Yale community members around the world to consider what they want the world to be like — and what they are for instead of what they oppose.

This question is more challenging than it first appears,” he said. “It is easy, in our polarized world, to find people who can tell you what they are against. It is far more difficult to identify what we are for — what we hope to see in the world and then work to create it.”

It calls us to declare through this campaign what Yale is for: We are for humanity.”

The university’s first fundraising campaign in 10 years, “For Humanity” includes four key priority areas: Arts and Humanities for Insight; Science for Breakthroughs; Collaborating for Impact; and Leaders for a Better World.

Each of these strategic areas encompasses people, programs, and projects at Yale that epitomize the university’s mission to improve the world today and for future generations.

The campaign seeks to strengthen and advance a variety of ongoing university priorities, including making Yale’s vast collections more discoverable and accessible, researching how inflammation affects the human body and how to address its effects, fostering groundbreaking new collaborations to address climate change, and expanding financial aid to open Yale’s doors to more people.

Co-chair Josh Bekenstein said, “We are facing urgent, existential challenges, from climate change to global health crises. In this moment, Yale has the ability — and the responsibility — to address these and other challenges. As a proud alumnus, trustee, and parent, I am excited to be a part of this campaign, which can be a catalyst for positive change, not just for the sake of Yale, but for the sake of humanity.”

The campaign also aims to strengthen the bonds that connect Yale alumni with one another by increasing alumni engagement with the university and sustaining Yale’s relevance to the lives of alumni. To reinforce Yale’s foundation for the future, the campaign will encourage volunteerism, philanthropy, and connection among those in the Yale community now and those who will join in the years to come.

We are doing more than raising money — we have targeted areas for donation, but we also want to increase engagement of staff and alumni in university priorities, expand our programs in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and engage partners outside of Yale’s walls in our priorities around public health, climate science, interdisciplinary studies, primary research, and much more,” said Joan O’Neill, vice president for alumni affairs and development.

In advance of this public phase of the campaign, the university has engaged in a “quiet phase” of fundraising, securing more than $3.5 billion to build the campaign’s nucleus fund. The Wu Tsai Institute, the Center for Natural Carbon Capture, and the now tuition-free David Geffen School of Drama were all funded through gifts from generous donors who recognized the importance of Yale’s mission.

Since our founding over 300 years ago, our community has looked at the record of human achievement and believed we could do more,” said Salovey. “And we will do more.”

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Media Contact

Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-980-2222