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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Shattering Expectations campaign impact

CLA’s Shattering Expectations campaign, part of the University’s Driven campaign, officially came to a close on June 30, 2021. More than 21,000 alumni, friends, faculty, and staff gave over $182 million to support the college, departments, students—21 percent above our $150 million goal. Those are impressive numbers and we reach them only because donors are confident they are investing in important work and investing in the success of faculty, staff, and students. Groundbreaking research, inspiring educational opportunity, and meaningful engagement with communities. That’s what donors see. Everyone in the college has a hand in making that happen, in making CLA a place that attracts support.

Distributions from the University of Minnesota Foundation—the income and payouts from endowments and other funds—have grown by over 30 percent during the campaign, from about $13 million annually ten years ago to nearly $17 million today. Those dollars are put to work every day to support student success, elevate research and creative excellence, engage more fully with our communities, and strengthen diversity, equity, and belonging.

Over the past ten years, gifts have elevated the Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute and launched the Public Life Project. They’ve helped renovate Pillsbury Hall into a modern home for the Department of English and the Liberal Arts Engagement Hub (see Twin Cities Public Television’s tour of the renovation). They’ve provided seed grants to launch promising new research projects. They’ve established endowed chairs and professorships to recruit and retain world-class faculty. They’ve provided departmental support funds and assistance to collegiate research centers. They’ve given us flexible innovation funds to kickstart projects such as the Interdisciplinary Collaborative Workshops. They’ve brought visiting artists and scholars to campus and taken our students and faculty to sites all around the world. They’ve provided 224 new funds for undergraduate and graduate students, opening doors to opportunity, boosting recruitment of diverse students, and fueling students’ academic and professional ambitions. 

The benefits of a successful campaign are long-lasting. Among the $182 million contributed during the campaign, some came in the form of so-called demand funds, which can be spent immediately. Some came in the form of endowments which provide recurring support in perpetuity (a $1 million endowment pays out $45,000 in spendable income annually). And some came in the form of future gifts and bequests that will benefit the college in years to come. A successful campaign also has a long reach in that it lifts the amount raised annually to new heights. We now anticipate raising nearly double the amount each year than we did ten years ago.  

You’ll hear more about campaign outcomes this fall. Watch for a special edition magazine due in October and an invitation to our virtual campaign closing celebration in December. 

Gifts to CLA signal confidence in the relevance of the liberal arts to confront the biggest challenges we face, to expand the frontiers of knowledge, to prepare our students for their futures, and to engage meaningfully with our community partners. Thank you for all that you do to instill this confidence in our alumni, friends, and donors, and for helping make this campaign a success.