GW raises millions from philanthropists for special campaign

Philanthropists donated $300 million to GW’s Centuries Campaign during the fiscal year ending June 30, according to figures from the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs.

The Centuries Campaign includes money from grants for the annual budget, new and improved facilities and the University’s endowment. The campaign was founded in 1996 with an original goal of raising $300 million by 2000. In October 1998 the Board of Trustees, because of new priorities and necessities, increased the goal to $500 million by 2003.

The money raised by the campaign can be seen in improvements around campus, said Michael J. Worth, GW’s vice president for Development and Alumni Affairs.

“It is playing an important role in the growth of the University,” he said. “We can see it all around us.”

GW also reached new records in yearly grants. More than $62 million was added in commitments during the 1998-1999 fiscal year. In addition, gifts from the endowment reached $20 million.

New buildings, including the Health and Wellness Center and the School of Media and Public Affairs building, are benefiting from some of this money. Future buildings such as a new building for the School of Business and Public Management and improved athletic facilities at the Mount Vernon campus also will benefit from money raised in the campaign.

The University benefits from increased money because it can add to fellowships and scholarships.

“The impact of the campaign is visible not only in improvements and buildings,” Worth said.

Worth said he believes the increased philanthropic support is, in part, a result of more aggressive fundraising strategies and distinguished alumni offering donations.

According to a chart published in “Centuries,” a newsletter about the campaign, 29 percent of undergraduate alumni have given to GW. Yale University leads the list with an undergraduate giving rate of 50 percent, while Georgetown University’s giving rate is 28 percent.

“There is a growing pride among achievements, appearance, the success of athletic teams and all the other things that make up the University,” Worth said.

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