Supporters Hear of Successes, New Goals

By Sandra Howe
Staff Writer

Boston College administrators discussed the University's current $50 million fundraising effort and the important role financial aid will play in the institution's future at the National Development Board's annual meeting on Nov. 10 and 11.

The NDB, founded in 1993, is composed of Boston College alumni, parents and friends who help secure major gifts for specific University needs. Members gathered last Friday in Gasson 100 to hear an overview of the University's recent fundraising efforts and goals for the future, followed by a reception and dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Boston. Saturday's sessions were held in McElroy Commons.

On Friday morning, NDB Chairman Robert Murray outlined some of Boston College's recent fundraising successes, noting that since the conclusion of The Campaign for Boston College in 1991, the University has received $81.4 million in new pledges, surpassing its goal of $80 million.

Murray noted all-time highs in memberships for the President's Circle and Fides giving societies; and record donations through the student telemarketing program, corporation and foundation pledges, Pops on the Heights and the Reunion Gift Program.

"All of these successes and benchmarks are clear indications of an effective and mature development program that is ready for new challenges and setting new standards of excellence," Murray said. "Behind the success is a driving force of ever-growing, deeply committed volunteers who continue to renew the gift of what Boston College has meant to their lives by giving back the gifts of their means and themselves in terms of time, talent and treasure."

Looking to the future, Financial Vice President and Treasurer Peter McKenzie identified several areas of concern for the University, including the economy, the role of the federal government in higher education and rising tuition. Currently, the University's tuition is $17,890, representing 44 percent of the average family income, he said. If present trends continue, McKenzie projected that in 2005 Boston College's tuition would be $32,960, or 65.1 percent of the projected average family income.

With 60 percent of Boston College students now receiving some form of tuition assistance, McKenzie said, "we need to be committed to financial aid to support the diversity we want at BC."

McKenzie also noted the importance of supporting the faculty teaching mission, scholarly activities and the maintenance of physical facilities. He pointed to improvements in productivity as critical to meeting increased costs over the next 10 years, because tuition increases are "not as significant as they were in the past."

Though the University has not yet harnessed technology's cost-saving potential to the degree industry has, it is a leader among higher education institutions, he said.

"We can do better managing our resources and will do so in the next five to 10 years to cut costs," McKenzie said, "while maintaining excellent service and value."

Vice President for University Relations Mary Lou DeLong said the University's second post-campaign fundraising effort - which began on June 1 and ends May 31, 1997 - has raised nearly $5 million of its $50 million goal. Financial aid is the top priority in the drive, she said, with a goal of $14 million, as well as support for the planned student sports complex, Middle Campus and Law School projects, general programs and athletics.

DeLong said that while most institutions tend to scale back fundraising efforts after major campaigns, Boston College maintained its momentum, due largely to the NDB. She identified unrestricted giving as one area where the University hopes to see a strong performance over the next two years, since it often supports the institution's day-to-day operations.

Other speakers on Friday included Executive Vice President Frank Campanella, who outlined the Middle Campus project slated to begin next spring, Prof. Mary Cronin (CSOM) and Prof. Emeritus Thomas O'Connor (History).

Addresses by University President J. Donald Monan, SJ, and Murray concluded the event on Saturday, which also featured an overview of the proposed student sports center by representatives from Architectural Resources of Cambridge, Inc.

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