As campaign ends, administrators look to the future, reflect on past accomplishments

As this edition of Emory Report goes to press, the final figures for the Emory Campaign are still being tallied. What is clear is that Emory University has not only reached but exceeded its five-year goal of $400 million, the largest fund-raising effort in the history of the institution, by raising $419 million in gifts and pledges from a host of alumni, foundations and friends.

The $419-million total is a modest telling of the campaign story. Emory, unlike most other institutions, did not count planned giving in its total. Not included in the above total is planned giving with a gift value of $130 million, which has a charitable remainder value of $72 million.

As you survey the Emory campus, the results of this campaign are evident in the buildings that have provided Emory with invaluable resources for teaching and research, buildings whose names reflect the generosity of alumni and friends -- the Roberto C. Goizueta Business School Building, the Grace Crum Rollins School of Public Health Building, the Fleming L. Jolley Residential Center, the Woodruff Memorial Building West Wing addition and renovation, the MacMillan Law Library, the Callaway Center. The campaign has changed the very landscape of the campus.

However, the effects of this campaign can be felt in many ways much less tangible than the additions of brick and mortar. Generous financial support of an institution has a dramatic impact, a fact clear to those who observed the University's rise following the $105-million gift from the Woodruff Foundation in 1979. In the past two years, Emory has been invited to join the Association of American Universities, which is made up of 60 of the most productive and accomplished research universities in the country; has been named to the top category of Research I Universities by the Carnegie Foundation; and was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as 13th in the nation for its commitment to undergraduate teaching and 17th overall among national universities. The University's financial strength has allowed it to transform itself and emerge as a national university.

The impact of the campaign also is seen in endowed professorships, undergraduate scholarships, fellowships for graduate study, programs to improve teaching skills of graduate students, and funded research that ranges from studying the effects of violence to discovering new neurosurgery techniques. Its effects spans the globe in supporting efforts toward peace in the Sudan and in fighting human rights abuses around the world.

The successful completion of this campaign, according to Vice President for Institutional Advancement Bill Fox, "shows that we have come of age and can take our place among other great universities. There are universities in this country operating larger campaigns, but given our enrollment, the number of alumni, and the size of our campus, this is a tremendous statement about Emory."

Over the course of the campaign, more than 170,000 gifts were received. The remarkable story, however, is that 66 percent of those gifts were less than $100, and 91 percent were less than $500. The campaign demonstrated a broad base of alumni support; more than 50 percent of alumni made gifts during the five years, and alumni giving -- an important yardstick at any university -- has doubled, rising from 5.3 percent of the previous campaign total to 10.6 percent.

The campaign also demonstrated the continued support of the Woodruff Foundation. To have solidified that friendship has been "something for which we are extremely grateful," according to Fox. Additional foundation support broadened and deepened over the course of this campaign as well, a fact Fox credits to Emory's growing national reputation. Gifts from health organizations increased as well, with the percentage increasing from 2.1 of the campaign total to 12.6.

The University has profited as well from the energy and leadership of many volunteers: former Board of Trustees Chair Robert Strickland and Campaign Honorary Chair O. Wayne Rollins, both of whom passed away during the course of the campaign; Brad Currey (chair of the campaign until becoming chair of the Board of Trustees in fall 1994) and John McIntyre (vice chair, then chair, of the campaign). And this campaign has benefited from the involvement and leadership of its three presidents -- James T. Laney, who began the campaign, and William M. Chace, who arrived at Emory in August 1994, as well as Interim President Billy Frye.

A unique feature of the campaign was the challenge grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation, which brought a number of new stakeholders to the University. The Emory/Coca-Cola Challenge matched campaign gifts from Emory's alumni, trustees, faculty, staff, parents and other friends up to $2 million. For the five years of the challenge, Emory secured 15,770 new donors, and its total of new and increased unrestricted gifts exceeded $3.8 million.

As the closing figures are being calculated, plans are being formulated for the future. The last five years have brought about major changes for the University, and administrators are working to determine the future course. The Emory community is asking questions about how to more completely merge the sometimes disparate areas of teaching and research, how to encourage departments and schools and students to cross the boundaries of disciplines and divisions, and how to think, dream and work, creatively and cooperatively, to make Emory an institution that is a leader in the nation and in the world.

Campaigns such as this one often have a kind of paradoxical effect. According to Fox, this campaign "has made us aware of how much more needs to be raised, how we need to find the resources to make Emory the University it can become."

--Nancy M. Spitler