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VCU goes full bore with massive capital raise

Jonathan Spiers September 23, 2016 0

VCU is looking to raise $750 million through its "Make It Real Campaign."

VCU is looking to raise $750 million through its “Make It Real Campaign.”

Already more than halfway to its fundraising goal, VCU on Thursday launched the public phase of its “Make It Real Campaign,” which aims to raise a total of $750 million – the largest capital campaign in the university’s history.

The fundraising target was announced Thursday night at an event at VCU’s James Branch Cabell Library. The campaign is planned to impact every aspect of the university, with each school and unit establishing a goal and accepting donations that would add to the whole.

Specifically, the campaign aims to: grow student scholarships and faculty professorships and endowments; support hands-on learning and living experiences for students and startup research ideas for faculty; create new partnerships for research and learning experiences; provide facilities and equipment to expand research capacity; and increase the university’s community partnerships.

The campaign has already raised $439.7 million during a so-called “silent period” that began in July 2012. Funds will continue to be raised in the public phase through June 30, 2020.

Steve Markel dumps paint on the site of the VCU Institute for Contemporary Art in 2014.

Steve Markel dumps paint on the site of the VCU Institute for Contemporary Art in 2014.

In his remarks Thursday, VCU President Michael Rao said the campaign’s impact would be felt well beyond campus.

“Our faculty, students, patients, community partners and everyone who crosses paths with VCU will benefit,” Rao said. “We are a global university, and the impact of this campaign will be global.”

Added John Luke, rector of the VCU Board of Visitors: “The university plays a vital role in our city and region, serving a broad range of students, patients and citizens. This campaign provides an opportunity for all of us to support something at VCU, whatever our interests or passions may be.”

The campaign is the latest fundraising initiative for VCU, which last raised more than $410 million during its “Campaign for VCU,” exceeding its $330.5 million target when the campaign ended in 2007. It previously raised upwards of $167 million in its “Partners for Progress” campaign, which ended in 1998.

Thursday’s announcement preceded a number of campaign launch events that were scheduled to be held today. Details on those events are available here.

Reflecting the campaign’s reach throughout the university, the VCU Brandcenter earlier this month announced a change to its leadership structure to give its director more time to focus on fundraising.

Earlier this year, a separate fundraising challenge was launched to help outfit Cabell Library following two years of renovations.

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