This year marks a historic milestone for Boston University—the conclusion of our first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign. And I’m thrilled to announce it shattered all expectations. We launched in 2012 with an audacious goal for an inaugural campaign: $1 billion. We not only hit that mark but nearly doubled it, with $1.85 billion coming from a staggering 175,000+ donors. Gifts ranged from a few dollars to $150 million, and all 17 schools and colleges received at least one $1 million gift or pledge. This philanthropy was unprecedented here and our gratitude is immeasurable.

But the story is more than numbers. The Campaign for Boston University transformed our culture, revealing a passionate community of family and friends who, in concert with the University, enabled our students, faculty, and staff to surpass expectations. Together, we broadened the scope of our research, elevated the learning experience, and opened more doors to highly qualified students. In short, the campaign widened our margin of excellence.

Here are just a few examples: A $20 million initiative to support student innovation was funded by a group of alumni together with the University; we also supplied the physical space for an innovation center on campus.

The $10 million donation that created the world-class Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre dovetailed with an ongoing University initiative to enhance and unite the arts community on campus. And we invited donors to participate in the Century Challenge, in which the University matches the income generated by each endowed $100,000 scholarship gift for 100 years.

The success of the campaign also freed up internal University resources to support other foundational initiatives outlined in our Strategic Plan, such as adding research centers, reinventing the undergraduate curriculum, increasing our global programs, and growing our professional graduate education.

But the most significant outcome of the campaign is an undeniable momentum upon which to build. While much was accomplished over the past seven years, we look at the results as a down payment on the future, the beginning of something truly great.

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Robert A. Brown
President, Boston University

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