UM Reaches for $1 Billion to Achieve Great Expectations
The University of Maryland, the state's flagship research university and one of the nation's top 20 public universities, has kicked off a landmark, seven-year capital campaign seeking to raise a record
$1 billion in private support. Great Expectations, The Campaign for Maryland
will raise significant funding to support students, recruit and retain faculty, enhance physical facilities and library and technology resources, and reinforce excellence and innovation in academic programs.
The campaign goal makes Great Expectations the largest fundraising drive of a public institution in the state of Maryland and the Washington, D.C. region.
"Our expectations for the university, and our students, faculty and alumni who bring it to life, are very high indeed," said university president C. D. Mote, Jr. "We are passionately committed to being excellent at everything we do. Our extraordinary rise over the past decade has demonstrated that we have the will, the ability, and the capability to succeed. This ambitious campaign is a primary vehicle to make that happen."
Mote says Great Expectations will commit approximately one-third of the total campaign goal to raising significant financial support for scholarships and enhancing the student experience at Maryland.
"Over the past few years, a college education has become mandatory for most important positions in our knowledge-based economy. At the same time, the cost of education has increased significantly, making it too great a challenge for many students of exceptional ability, but with low or moderate family incomes. The debt burden can be just too high." said Mote. "At Maryland, we will create alternatives to help these talented students gain a high-quality education that will prepare them for leadership in society and in the global economy."
The University of Maryland kicked off its "Great Expectations" fundraising campaign with a gala celebration Friday evening.
With the October 20th kickoff, the university officially completed a two-year silent phase that surpassed its goal of $300 million just shy of the total goal of the university's previous capital campaign, Bold Vision, Bright Future, in FY1997-FY2002, with a goal of $350 million. (That campaign secured $476 million.)
The silent phase, led by A. James Clark '50 (Chairman, Clark Enterprises, Inc.) and Robert H. Smith '50 (Chairman, Charles E. Smith Companies), has positioned the university to achieve the campaign goal over the next four years. Clark, Smith, and Robert E. Fischell '53 (Chairman, Fischell Biomedical, LLC) became lead donors to the campaign with gifts of $30 million each, and all are serving as Honorary Co-Chairs for the public phase of the campaign.
In 1998, Maryland was ranked 30th among public research universities U.S. News & World Report's first-ever ranking of public institutions, with only 27 programs ranked among the top 25 in the nation.
Since then, Maryland has climbed quickly to No. 18 among the U.S. News and World Report's rankings of public universities. Currently, the university boasts 31 academic programs in the Top 10 and 92 in the Top 25. The current faculty includes three Nobel Laureates, six Pulitzer Prize winners and 40 members of the National Academies of Science.
In just the past few years, Maryland has also steadily climbed up the rankings among the Top World Universities: from No. 75 (2003), No. 57 (2004), and No. 47 (2005), to its current rank of No. 37 (2006), as measured by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2006.
"Maryland is ready for such a bold, ambitious campaign," said Alma Gildenhorn '53 (Philanthropist and Campaign Co-Chair). "We are on a very steep trajectory of academic success; and we have matched that academic success with strong volunteer leadership and an excellent fundraising program. We have developed the donor base and capacity -- including alumni, friends and prospective donors -- to have great success over the next few years."
"We will become one of the nation's truly great public research universities, an institution with international reach in service to its state, an institution preparing leaders for the future and changing the world, and our understanding of it, through research and scholarship," said UM board of trustees chair William E. Mayer '66, '67 (Partner, Park Avenue Equity Partners). "Great Expectations, The Campaign for Maryland is the linchpin."