In October 2000, Board of Trustees Chairman Alan M. Dachs ’70 made a pledge to the Wesleyan community:
“I promise you that when you contribute to the Wesleyan Campaign, your gift will produce results and ensure Wesleyan’s legacy for the next generation and generations to come,” he said.
His promise is already being fulfilled.
Five years and $281 million dollars later, Wesleyan has renovated dozens of classrooms, added 20 new faculty positions across the curriculum, offered 140 additional scholarships and rejuvenated Clark Hall, Memorial Chapel and The Patricelli ’92 Theater and Ring Family Stage with the Zelnick Pavilion connecting the buildings. The Rosenbaum squash center with nine courts and the Andersen Fitness Center have also made a presence on campus.
These projects are all made possible through the Wesleyan Campaign, which capped its $250 million goal by $31 million on December 31, 2004.
“With the success of this campaign, we have learned that our alumni, parents and friends are incredibly generous and they know their gifts can help shape the university,” said Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president for University Relations. “People had a wonderful time when they were students and that’s why they give. They want students to have the same opportunities that they had.”
The priorities of the Campaign came directly from the Strategy for Wesleyan and, of the funds raised, $47,160,000 went towards Endowment for Financial Aid; $48,700,000 to the Freeman Asian Scholars Program; $19,900,000 into the Fund for Excellence; $40,300,000 was directed toward Faculty and Academic Programs; $46,100,000 to support new facilities and the Campus Renewal Fund; $57,000,000 into the Wesleyan Annual Fund. An additional $21,800,000 pledged is currently undesignated.
Because of generous gifts to support financial aid, students are borrowing on average $8,000 less over their four years at Wesleyan.
“The students are the life blood of this institution, and lowering their post Wesleyan loans was one of our biggest priorities,” Wilson said. “The students are already seeing the effects of the campaign in their scholarship packages and through the physical environment.”
A record-setting 68 percent of alumni participated in the campaign, along with 3,472 parents, 219 corporations and foundations and more than half of the senior faculty.
This was Wesleyan’s second official campaign drive, built on the foundation of the Campaign for Liberal Learning, which raised $67 million by 1987. In 1995, a firm advised Wesleyan to set a $100 million goal for the Wesleyan Campaign. Wesleyan continued to set the bar higher. They decided to aim for a quarter of a billion dollars, a number that appealed to John Woodhouse ’53, chair of the Wesleyan Campaign.
“Some donors give $25 a year and 56 individuals or families made commitments of $1 million or more,” said Ann Goodwin, assistant vice president for university relations. “Each and every gift is incredibly important as Wesleyan continues to provide an excellent education for our students. We asked people to stretch for Wesleyan and they did!”
Although the campaign is over, University Relations is building on the momentum of the campaign to focus on the Wesleyan Annual Fund, further increasing the endowment for financial aid and emerging facility priorities, including support for the Usdan University Center and a new Life Sciences building.
The campaign has brought Wesleyan to a new level and it has given us the building blocks to maintain our level of excellence,” Wilson said. “But we can’t rest on our laurels. Excellence is dynamic. It doesn’t just stop.”
A “Thank You” in sound and photos from President Bennet on behalf of Wesleyan can be viewed at http://www.wesleyan.edu/campaign/thankyou/.
By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor
|| Campaign Contributions
$281 million was raised through the Wesleyan Campaign, which ended December 31, 2004. As a result, Wesleyan has been able to:
Hire 20 new faculty members, improving the student-faculty ratio from 1:11 to 9:1
Offer 140 new endowed and current scholarships to students
Secure the Freeman Asian Scholars Program, which enrolls 22 top-level Asian students in each class from 11 Pacific Rim countries
Create more than 40 multimedia classrooms
Build and open the Andersen Fitness Center and Rosenbaum Squash Court
Launch a new Center for Faculty Development
Design the Usdan University Center. Groundbreaking is planned for March
Establish six new professorships
Encourage more than 60 science students to participate in summer research each year
Convert a former Middletown school into the Green Streets Arts Center
Initiate new programs in areas such as environmental studies, genomics and bioinformatics, computational biology and bioethics
Develop a Center for Community Partnerships
Provide generous financial aid packages, reducing student borrowing by 25 percent
Create a visiting scholar-in-residence, an endowment for speakers in Jewish Studies and an endowment to benefit Jewish life activities
Build the Zelnick Pavilion and Center for Film Studies
Launch an endowment for the College of Social Sciences
Renovate the Center for the Americas, the Stewart M. Reid Admission Center, Clark Hall, Memorial Chapel, the Patricelli ’92 Theater and Ring Family Stage, Downey House