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Campaign climbs to $237.5 million

By Terry McGuire

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 27 - April 10, 1997

Giving solid evidence of its sustained strength, the Campaign for Virginia Tech ended the third quarter of fiscal year 1996-97 by reaching $237.5 million in gifts and commitments. The new total puts the university's largest fund-raising endeavor at 95 percent of its $250-million goal, with 15 months still remaining before it concludes its six-year run on July 1, 1998.

The year-to-date results punctuate an impressive 18-month performance that has seen the campaign vault from $150.2 million in contributions at the time of its public launching on Sept. 16, 1995 to its present level, an increase of more than 63 percent.

Equally impressive are the results compiled by individual segments of the campaign. Those numbers were reviewed by Charles Steger, vice president of Development and University Relations, with members of the campaign steering committee at their April 5 meeting.

Each of the campaign's four major areas showed notable progress; in particular current operations, which has surpassed its $60-million goal by nearly 9 percent, and permanent endowment, which currently stands at 92 percent of its goal of $125 million. Under permanent endowment, the goals for both student endowment and unrestricted endowment have been exceeded, while faculty endowment has reached nearly 86 percent of its goal. Endowment, which comprises one-half of the campaign goal, is critical to the university's future growth and to ensuring the future strength and quality of its faculty and programs.

"With nearly five years of the campaign completed, I could not be more pleased with the way that each phase of our fundraising has contributed to the success of the next phase," Steger said. "I expect that trend to continue, and I expect the campaign to reach $250 million in calendar year 1997, which will provide a wonderful capstone to the university's 125th anniversary."

One of the driving forces behind the campaign's success has been the enthusiasm generated by regional fund-raising efforts. During the first three months of the year, these efforts became more national in scope when regional kick-off events--hosted by alumni regional chairs--were held in various locations in Florida, California, and Texas.

In January, more than 100 alumni and friends from Florida attended events in Palm Beach, Naples, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, and Orlando, where President Paul Torgersen offered his insights on the state of the university and Steger provided an update on the campaign's financial progress.

In February, California became the venue for the same program, with regional campaigns launched in Orange County, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The four kick-off events drew 125 California supporters. Then, in March, events in Houston and Dallas drew 116 alumni and friends, as the campaign's traveling road show kicked off regional campaigns in Texas.

"The regional campaigns have helped to keep everyone focused and energized," said Michael Carroll, associate vice president of development. "They require a great deal of time and effort from President Torgersen and many others. But thanks to the hard work of the regional chairs and their committees, those efforts have proven to be well-placed and worthwhile."

This spring, regional campaigns return to Virginia. Events are scheduled for early April in the Tidewater and Peninsula areas and in early May for Prince William/Fauquier and Fredericksburg.