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'Light the World Campaign Reaches the $1 Billion Mark

01/31/13
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By Jack Dunn | Director of News & Public Affairs

Published: Jan. 31, 2013

“Light the World,” the 150th anniversary campaign for Boston College, has reached the $1 billion mark in contributions, a record-setting accomplishment for the University, and a significant fund-raising milestone that administrators say provides momentum towards meeting the ambitious goal of $1.5 billion.

In making the announcement, campaign co-chairs and University Trustees Charles I. Clough Jr., William J. Geary and Kathleen M. McGillycuddy said they were delighted to have hit the billion-dollar mark during the Sesquicentennial Celebration, and are looking forward to the last stage of the campaign with renewed vigor.

“As we enter the year of our sesquicentennial, we are buoyed by the progress we have made and are confident that we will soon complete the campaign by raising the remaining $500 million towards its goal,” the co-chairs said.     
 
“Light the World,” which was launched in October of 2008 to fund academic programs, financial aid commitments, student formation initiatives and campus construction projects outlined in the University’s Strategic Plan, has helped to provide valuable resources for all aspects of University life.

To date, the campaign has raised nearly $220 million for financial aid; $270 million for academic priorities; $150 million for capital projects; $160 million in support of student formation initiatives, and mission-based and athletic programs; and $200 million in support of current University activities and future needs through annual gifts and provisions outlined in donors’ estates.

“The money raised thus far has had a tremendous effect on Boston College, and will continue to help the University meet its strategic goals and priorities,” said McGillycuddy, who chairs the Board of Trustees. “We are rightfully proud of what we have accomplished thus far, particularly in light of the economic challenges we have faced since the campaign began in 2008, and we remain focused on meeting our overall goal during the next several years.”
The $1 billion in contributions represents a significant increase over the University’s previous “Ever to Excel” campaign, which raised $440 million upon its completion in 2004.

Senior Vice President for University Advancement James J. Husson credits the success of the campaign to an unprecedented level of engagement by alumni, parents and friends of Boston College, combined with the remarkable commitment of Boston College’s Board of Trustees. “This is not a campaign that is simply a collection of individual gifts. This is a campaign of trustees, donors, University leaders and volunteers working together as stakeholders in support of Boston College’s mission,” said Husson.
 
“We are grateful to our trustees who are not only among our most generous donors, but who are also actively involved in the campaign as volunteer leaders. We also owe a debt to our campaign volunteers who have played such key roles — from regional campaign committees, to the Alumni Association Board, to the various class chapter volunteers and leaders — in moving this campaign forward together,” said Husson. “We see across the country at every event the excitement and energy around what this campaign means for Boston College.” 

Husson cites as an example the “150th On the Road” events that will take place between February and June in seven cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, New York, Boston, Dublin and Chicago, during which BC alumni and parents will provide 150,000 meals to the hungry.  [See page 2]

“This type of response from the BC community shows what it truly means to be a light to the world,“ said Husson, “and it speaks to why this campaign was so appropriately named.”    
                
Vice President for Development Thomas P. Lockerby also praised the widespread support from the BC community. “The partnership on campus has been critical to everything we have accomplished, from the president who has invested so much of his time and leadership to this campaign, to the provost, deans, faculty and administrators who have partnered with us in this effort.

“We are incredibly gratified by the more than 100,000 gifts that we have received, but we are very mindful that our job is still left before us, and that we have significant needs to meet in support of academics, students, mission-based programs and facilities.” 

University President William P. Leahy, SJ, expressed his thanks to all those involved in reaching the milestone, and called upon the BC community to assist in meeting the final goal.  “When the ‘Light the World’ campaign was launched in 2008, we set an ambitious goal of $1.5 billion that would help meet the priorities we had established in our Strategic Plan,” said Fr. Leahy. “I am pleased that we have reached a significant milestone in our effort, which has helped to strengthen Boston College and its academic, financial aid, student formation and athletics programs, as well as its campus facilities. I look forward to meeting our remaining goal, particularly in light of the effect it will have on strengthening the University and improving the educational experience for all members of the Boston College community.”