With a goal of raising $1.2 billion by 2016, the University has launched the largest fundraising effort in Rochester’s 161-year history. The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester is designed to advance the University’s leadership in research, teaching, performance, and patient care, and to enhance its service to society.
The Campaign invokes the shared values and learning that have inspired generations of students, faculty, and staff to be “ever better,” the common translation of the University’s motto, Meliora.
“We know our aspirations are high,” President Joel Seligman said in announcing the Campaign during a celebration at Meliora Weekend. “We share a dream: to be one of the leading universities of the 21st century, a community leader and builder, home to outstanding faculty, students, and staff. Together as one university we launch our campaign. Together we will make history.”
The Meliora Challenge
Goal: $1.2 billion
- $225 million for student support, primarily through endowed scholarships and fellowships
- $350 million for faculty, primarily through endowed professorships
- $375 million to support priority programs within the schools and units
- $130 million for unrestricted support through the Annual Fund
- $120 million for renovations and new facilities
Raised: $759 million (as of Oct. 21)
Accompanied by Ed Hajim ’58, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Richard Handler ’83, a trustee and national cochair of the Campaign, Seligman announced that more than $759 million had been raised since the leadership phase of the effort began in 2005.
The initiative represents the first time that the entire University—all schools, units, programs, disciplines, and locations—is participating in a unified, coordinated effort to meet University-wide fundraising goals in order to achieve a University-wide vision. All private gifts, pledges, grants, and other support during the Campaign period will count toward the total.
Hajim’s $30 million commitment in support of scholarships and endowment to his namesake Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2008 is the largest Campaign gift thus far. “George Eastman used to say, ‘The progress of the world depends almost entirely on education,’” said Hajim. “I go a step further and say, ‘Education is the key to everything.’”
The University joins an elite group of the nation’s universities in embarking on a $1.2 billion fundraising goal; only 34 of the nation’s four-year institutions are currently in campaigns of $1 billion or more.
The Meliora Challenge will focus on five main objectives: $225 million for student support, primarily through endowed scholarships and fellowships; $350 million for faculty, primarily through endowed professorships; $375 million to support priority programs within the schools and units; $130 million for unrestricted support through the Annual Fund; and $120 million for renovations and new facilities.
The University hopes to significantly increase membership in the George Eastman Circle, the University’s leadership annual giving society, which currently has more than 1,920 members who have made five-year commitments from $1,500 to $50,000 a year as part of the Campaign. Established in 2006, the George Eastman Circle is one of the fastest growing Annual Fund programs in the United States.
Cathy Jones Minehan ’68, a trustee and national cochair of the Campaign, has watched strong partnerships develop between the University and its donors.
“Whether or not they and their families have directly benefited from a Rochester education, supporters recognize our distinctive strengths in many fields and the exceptional qualities of our students and faculty,” she said. “Great universities stand apart because of the faculty and students that they recruit, retain, and support.”
For more about The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester, go to the website at http://campaign.rochester.edu.