Autumn 2009: Campaign Chronicle

Paul McLarty portrait

“Our community of more than 108,000 alumni has been among Campaign Emory's most dedicated supporters.”—Paul McLarty 63C 66L, Emory Alumni Board president

Bryan Meltz

At One-Year Mark, Focus Is Key

In the year since the public launch of Campaign Emory in September 2008, Emory’s historic $1.6 billion fund-raising endeavor has raised more than $133 million in new commitments.

The total raised since the campaign began in 2005 was $978 million as of September 30, 2009.

“People are still giving to Emory. We are grateful for the generosity and loyalty of our donors, who are passionate about the work we are doing,” says Susan Cruse, Emory’s senior vice president for development and alumni relations. “They understand the impact of their philanthropy and have demonstrated their confidence in us as good stewards of their investment.”

This good news comes despite the fact that charitable giving has decreased nationwide due to struggling global and national economies. Although giving to higher education increased an average of 7 percent a year in each of the past twenty years, charitable giving fell last year by the largest percentage in five decades, dropping to about $307 billion from the $314 billion given in 2007, according to a study by the Giving USA Foundation.

However, indicators including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) fund-raising index predict that philanthropic support will begin to recover in the 2009–2010 academic year. The fund-raising index is a new forecasting tool launched this summer by CASE.

Sonny Deriso 69C 72L, volunteer chair of Campaign Emory and a member of the Emory Board of Trustees, says the challenging economy has focused the University’s fund-raising on essential programs and priorities.

“For example, there is a greater need for Emory Advantage because of the number of students who need financial assistance due to a change in family income level. Things like this make the case even more compelling to continue what we are doing,” Deriso says.

While working toward the campaign goal, underwriting Emory’s areas of strength and supporting the greatest opportunities for advancement become key.

“Providing financial aid for students, supporting faculty, and sustaining vital research programs all are critical to the University. The research and work being done are no less important than they were before and may even be more important now,” Deriso says.

“There is no question that while any kind of economic downturn is painful and is always very challenging, what it does is cause you to focus on how you are doing business, how you are operating, and how your resources are deployed and to make the necessary adjustments to be able to succeed in challenging times,” he adds. “Those are the kinds of things that are being done at Emory.”

Paul McLarty 63C 66L, the Emory Alumni Board president for 2009–2010, says he plans to build on the strong foundation of philanthropy that exists among Emory alumni.

“Our community of more than 108,000 alumni has been among Campaign Emory’s most dedicated supporters,” McLarty says. “In September we inducted more than a dozen new board members, all of them fully dedicated to encouraging and inspiring their fellow alumni to get involved with Campaign Emory, just as they have. I’m looking forward to a remarkable year.”

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