Campaign Begins Year 2

"Ever to Excel"

Campaign Begins Year 2

First year sees record number of pledges push total past $245 million

By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

Boston College's "Ever to Excel" Campaign has passed the $245 million mark after a record-setting first year, and campaign leaders are now setting their sights on the effort's $400 million final goal.

"We have set records in terms of pledges and dollars contributed to the University," said Vice President for University Relations Mary Lou Delong. "People have been very, very good at 'stretching' to help our campaign."

Since the campaign launched its public phase last November, Delong said, it has received pledges of $79 million and cash gifts of $49 million, with $80 million in pledges and $50 million in cash gifts projected for the current year.

To date, the campaign has received 51 gifts of $1 million or more, 248 gifts of $100,000 to $1 million and 67,000 contributions overall, Delong said.

"Whether it be the two anonymous gifts of $20 million that we have received," she said, "the $10 million-plus gift of Carolyn and Peter Lynch for the naming of the Lynch School of Education, or the record years that we have seen in our giving groups, alumni, parents and friends have come forward to really make a difference."

Campaign co-chair John Connors Jr., '63 said, "I am pleased to say that we are ahead of schedule on the way to achieving the 'Ever to Excel' Campaign's $400 million goal. As we enter the national phase of our campaign, I am confident that our growing national community of alumni, parents and friends all over the United States will bring us to that goal."

(L-R) University President William P. Leahy, SJ, with "Ever to Excel" Campaign chairmen Geoffrey Boisi, University Chancellor J. Donald Monan, SJ, and John Connors. (Photo by Gary Gilbert)

With the fundraising goals of many top American universities now reaching beyond the billion-dollar mark, the BC campaign leaders emphasized the critical role of "Ever to Excel" in helping the University stay among the nation's elite institutions.

University administrators have allocated $160 million of the $400 million campaign goal for the funding of new faculty positions. Increased student financial aid, enhancement of student life, campus building projects and special restricted and unrestricted uses, such as faculty research projects, will also benefit from the campaign.

"This is a very important point for the campaign and for the future of our University," said co-chair Geoffrey T. Boisi '69. "We need every member of the Boston College family, whether they give one dollar or millions, to answer the call."

The "bedrock of the campaign," according to Delong, has been the growth of the President's Circle and Fides Society, both of which have enjoyed break-through years. The President's Circle, which includes benefactors contributing gifts of $5,000 to $10,000, has surpassed 1,000 members, a 15 percent increase over last year. Fides, with gifts of $1,000 to $5,000, has a record 2,550 members.

Delong said that the campaign will continue to work on the solicitation of upper level gifts as well as corporate and foundation donations.

"But one of our goals," she added, "is to increase the level of alumni participation in the campaign. Every gift is important to us, no matter what the size."

Delong noted that the level of alumni participation in a development drive can have a significant effect on corporation and foundation giving. The percentage of alumni contributing to an institution is also a determining factor in the US News & World Report annual college rankings, she said.

-Office of Marketing Communications Assistant Director of Editorial Services John Ombelets contributed to this story.


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