Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University reaches historic $1 billion goal

Published: September 02, 2016
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Thanks to the generous philanthropy of alumni and friends through Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University, Auburn is the first university in the state to raise $1 billion in a comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Auburn achieved this remarkable success in record time — more than a year earlier than projected. With 16 months remaining in the campaign, leaders say the university will continue raising funds.

"The fact that we have achieved our goal so early in the campaign is an enormous commentary on the special place that Auburn has in the hearts and minds of people who are connected to it," said Auburn University President Jay Gogue. "I couldn't be more proud of or more grateful for all the people who have invested so generously.

"But we have to keep moving forward. We are not finished advancing Auburn University's mission through increased philanthropic investment."

The university publicly launched the campaign at the A-Day football game on April 18, 2015. Once the university issued the challenge of its largest campaign in history, the Auburn Family eagerly responded. To date, the university has received 393,113 gifts through the campaign from more than 95,000 donors, 131 of which have given $1 million or more. Endowed gifts account for more than a third of the campaign's total.

The campaign's co-chairs, whose leadership has contributed to its success, include Joe '71 and Gayle '70 Forehand of Dallas; Raymond '82 and Kathryn '81 Harbert of Birmingham; Wayne '68 and Cheryl '68 Smith of Nashville; and Beth Thorne Stukes of Jasper.

More than 70 percent of campaign funds have come from Auburn alumni and friends who want to see the university continue to offer students unparalleled educational experiences.

Because This is Auburn supports four major areas: students, faculty, programs and facilities. To date, the campaign has resulted in the creation of nearly 1,000 new scholarships for students and 89 new endowed chairs and professorships for educators and researchers. Donors have invested more than $537 million in new programs, and gifts of more than $132 million are building new facilities and reimagining existing campus facilities.

"If you look back at history, the Auburn that we enjoy today — somebody made possible for us 50 years ago," said Thomas Gossom Jr. '75, chair of the Auburn University Foundation Board. "We are here to ensure that tomorrow is not only bright, but also rewarding for all those future students."

While the university has surpassed its campaign fundraising goals for students and programs, the remainder of the campaign will focus heavily on reaching the goals established to support faculty and facilities.

"Auburn's campaign goal is foundational — by meeting this one goal, we have the resources to pursue all others," said Jane DiFolco Parker, vice president for development and president of the Auburn University Foundation. "But even as we celebrate accomplishing this important achievement, we recognize that there is much left to do. By making sure we meet all our campaign goals, we can do more than meet expectations; we can surpass them and realize our full potential. There is no better way to make an indelible impact on the world than through education. And there is no better place to do it than at Auburn."

To learn more about the impact of Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University, visit www.because.auburn.edu.

Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University: By the Numbers

Because This is Auburn —A Campaign for Auburn University is a $1 billion campaign to support four major areas across the university: students, faculty, programs and facilities.

  • Total number of gifts to date: 393,113*
  • Total number of donors to date: more than 95,000
  • Total number of gifts of $1 million or more: 131
  • Endowed gifts: One third of total
  • Annual gifts: Two thirds of total
  • New scholarships: nearly 1,000
  • New endowed professorships: 89
  • New endowed chairs: 17
  • Total invested in new programs: more than $537 million (or 110.1% of goal)
  • Total invested in facilities: more than $132 million (or 74.5 % of goal)
  • Total invested in students: more than $252 million (or 99.8% of goal)
  • Total invested in faculty: more than $66 million (or 81.1% of goal)
  • Publicly launched April 18, 2015
  • Months remaining in campaign: 16

*Data as of July 31, 2016

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