By Andrew M. Duehren and Daphne C. Thompson, CRIMSON STAFF WRITERS April 13, 2016
When Paul J. Finnegan ’75, a Harvard Corporation member, stood before a packed Sanders Theatre in September 2013 to announce that Harvard would seek to raise $6.5 billion in its next capital campaign, he drew a standing ovation.
A record-setting effort, the capital campaign set out to fund a number of priorities across the University’s 12 schools, including student financial aid and House renewal. The campaign, entitled “One Harvard,” would be Harvard’s moment to “seize an impatient future,” as University President Drew G. Faust said in her address announcing the drive.
It did not have to wait long.
With a $2.8 billion nucleus already in the bank by the time Harvard publicly launched its fundraising drive, the campaign started strong. Harvard progressed smoothly towards its target goal, receiving a number of landmark gifts as it ticked through major numerical benchmarks—$3 billion, $4 billion, $5 billion, and $6 billion.
Now, after blowing through its goal two years before the fundraising drive’s scheduled 2018 end, Harvard will focus on raising money for individual priorities and programs—including financial aid, House renewal, and the new campus in Allston—that still need the money. The campaign has reached its overall monetary goal well ahead of schedule, and top Harvard administrators, including Faust and Tamara E. Rogers ’74, vice president development and alumni affairs, have previously said the University will not raise its $6.5 billion goal.
Its goal reached and some of its largest gifts collected, the “One Harvard” campaign will now finish the more humble task of polishing off priorities and engaging rank and file donors.