DePaul’s Many Dreams, One Mission Campaign spurs record fundraising year for university

DePaul University raised a record $50 million in philanthropic gifts during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010.

The $50 million figure eclipses the school’s previous record of $35 million set in FY2007.

“This has been a remarkable fundraising year at DePaul,” said Mary Dempsey, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees and co-chair of the Many Dreams, One Mission Campaign for DePaul University, whose public launch she helped announce in May.

The campaign — DePaul’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign in almost 40 years and its most ambitious ever — seeks to raise $250 million before its conclusion on June 30, 2014. Of that total, $100 million is slated to fund new scholarships.

More than 19,000 DePaul alumni and friends already have contributed $172 million toward the campaign goal, including more than $46 million for scholarships alone.

“The DePaul community has rallied to the campaign’s cause and to the university’s century-old mission of providing world class education to talented students who otherwise might not have the opportunity to attend college,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., DePaul’s president.

He added that the campaign has set other fundraising records, including attracting more million-dollar-plus gifts (34) than it had received cumulatively since DePaul’s founding in 1898. Among them are three gifts to scholarships that are among the largest ever given to the university:

  • A $5 million gift from the DePaul law alumnus Michael Jaharis and the Michael Jaharis Family Foundation to support students in the DePaul University College of Law
  • A $2 million gift to endow a scholarship for undergraduates with financial need from DePaul trustee Douglas Crocker and his wife Cindy Crocker
  • A $1 million challenge grant from noted Chicago philanthropist and longtime DePaul supporter Harrison I. Steans and the Steans family to match scholarship gifts of up to $10,000.

“Our record fundraising year shows a strong commitment among DePaul’s trustees, alumni, friends, faculty and staff to the campaign’s success,” said Mary Finger, DePaul’s senior vice president of the university’s Office of Advancement. “That commitment is especially remarkable when one considers the challenging economic climate.”

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) estimates that giving to colleges and universities was down almost 1 percent in calendar year 2009 and is expected to grow only 3.7 percent for calendar year 2010. The growth rate of philanthropic giving to higher education during the past 20 years has increased an average 7 percent per year, according to the organization’s website.


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