Letter to the Editor

Board of Trustees pledges continued support for the Campaign for Syracuse University

We are writing as a follow-up to Monday’s article about Syracuse University successfully surpassing — four months early — its $1-billion fundraising goal for The Campaign for Syracuse University.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we want to take this opportunity to thank students, faculty and the SU community for their strong support. We were delighted to celebrate this historic announcement last week, made all the more remarkable by the excitement and infectious enthusiasm of the hundreds of students, faculty and staff who were there on the Quad. The pride the SU community has in this achievement and our success under Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s leadership was on full display.

It is important for us to recognize what it means for SU to have exceeded the goal for its most ambitious fundraising effort ever. The $1-billion goal is nearly triple that of any previous fundraising goal in the university’s history and, thanks to the generosity of more than 60,000 individual donors — alumni and friends, faculty and staff, students and families — SU has entered a new philanthropic era.

When the campaign was launched in 2007, there were five core areas to which support would be designated by donors: student access and support; faculty excellence; cross-connections; building futures; and annual support. These were overarching areas of investment in which $1 billion in new funds would have the most positive impact on students, faculty and the university as a whole.

That impact has been great — 350 student scholarships have been established, endowed faculty chairs have more than doubled to a total of 99, new state-of-the-art facilities have been supported, including Newhouse III, the Life Sciences Complex and Dineen Hall, and new interdisciplinary teaching, research and community engagement initiatives have been supported across every one of SU’s schools and colleges — just to name a few accomplishments.

And we are not done yet. While we already have surpassed our goal, the campaign is still underway and we are determined to finish strong. The areas of student and faculty support remain high priorities for the remaining months of the campaign and beyond.

Impressively, the success we’ve achieved together has come amid the worst national economic recession since the Great Depression — conditions that caused other universities to postpone similar campaigns. During this time, with the support of students, faculty and staff, SU actually thrived, building an unprecedented national and global volunteer network that was instrumental to the ultimate success of the campaign. These are extraordinary achievements in which every member of the SU family can take great pride.

Sincerely,

Richard L. Thompson, Chairman, SU Board of Trustees

Melanie Gray, Co-Chair, The Campaign for Syracuse University

Deryck A. Palmer, Co-Chair, The Campaign for Syracuse University

Howard G. Phanstiel, Co-Chair, The Campaign for Syracuse University

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