UO donors shatter fundraising goals by giving over $853 million

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EUGENE, Ore. -- Over 90,000 individual donors contributed to the University of Oregon's latest fundraising campaign, pushing total donations past the goal of $600 million.

Donors contributed a combined $853,120,266, more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to support academic programs, university buildings and the university's endowment.

“Campaign Oregon is a statement of faith in the future," said Dave Frohnmayer, the outgoing UO president who led the 8-year long effort dubbed Campaign Oregon: Transforming Lives. “We are honored and humbled that so many people have placed such great trust in this institution to carefully steward their financial gifts."

The campaign raised $362.5 million for the endowment, $99.8 million for student scholarships and fellowships, $106.1 million for faculty support, $186.1 million for academic and program support, and $138.2 million for improving academic campus facilities. The campaign, which started counting contributions on Jan. 1, 2001, officially ended Dec. 31, 2008.

The UO provided the following charts detailing the sources and allocations of the Campaign Oregon donations:

The campaign, launched Jan. 1, 2001, set an initial goal of $600 million.

By the time the campaign concluded Dec. 31, 2008, the effort had weathered both the most recent economic downturn and the economic troubles after Sept. 11, 2001.

Frohnmayer credited the volunteer leaders of the campaign — Tim Boyle, vice chair of the Campaign Leadership Committee, the late Randy Papé of Eugene, who chaired the effort, and members of the committee — for having the courage to move forward.

According to the University, the most significant achievements of Campaign Oregon include:

  • Student support: During the campaign, private gifts have more than doubled funds available for UO scholarships; as endowments grow, these gifts will create thousands more scholarships for UO students.
  • Faculty support: Campaign gifts funded 35 new endowed chairs and professorships, providing substantial additional funding for recruiting and retaining top faculty members. Fund for Faculty Excellence Awards, carrying annual salary supplements of $3,000 to $16,000 a year, have been awarded to 52 faculty members to date.
  • The sciences: About $55 million, part of a larger gift from philanthropist Lorry I. Lokey, dramatically transformed science teaching and research at the UO. The gift includes $30 million for faculty support, $10 million for graduate student support and $10 million for program support. Gifts from Lokey and others also funded several major new facilities for the sciences.
  • New facilities: Campaign gifts helped fund more than $250 million worth of new and improved academic facilities, including two new science buildings; a new business complex; and renovation and expansion of the music, education and theater facilities, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Athletic facility improvements include the Autzen Stadium renovation and expansion, Hayward Field improvements, PK Park baseball stadium and the Matthew Knight Arena.
  • Programs: Campaign donors financed a new journalism center in Portland, new programs in securities analysis and product design, and increased endowments for Special Collections in UO Libraries and the Oregon Bach Festival.

Frohnmayer said the end of the campaign does not end the university’s need for private fundraising. On the contrary, he said, “Our focus, drive and energy will continue to be on building a top 25 public research university. To do that requires increasing private support as well as increased state support. Although the campaign is over, we are not letting up now.”

Post-campaign fundraising goals will be based on a five-to-10-year academic vision for the university being developed under the direction of UO Provost James Bean. A final draft of the plan is expected soon. The university will continue to fundraise at $90 to $100 million annually to sustain progress in all areas of excellence.