UW Today

This is an archived article.

July 17, 2008

UW concludes most successful fundraising campaign in its history

News and Information

Today (July 17) the University of Washington Foundation announced that more than $2.68 billion has been donated in student, faculty, program and facility support during Campaign UW: Creating Futures, which concluded June 30. The eight-year campaign is the largest in the university’s history and is one of the most successful capital campaigns ever attempted by a public university.

“This is a historic moment for the UW, made possible only by the generosity of so many private donors and the time commitments of our dedicated volunteers,” said William H. Gates, chair of the campaign. “We were able to reach and exceed the campaign goal because of the enthusiasm so many alumni and friends have for the UW and its mission.”

The campaign received a total of $2.684 billion from alumni, friends, faculty, staff, students, parents, foundations, organizations and corporations. According to the Council for Aid to Education, the UW has the third-highest five-year fundraising average among public universities in the United States ($265 million) and ranks 12th in five-year fundraising averages among all private and public universities.

More than 293,000 donors contributed to the campaign. The number of annual donors is now over 121,000, more than double the number of annual donors when the campaign began. More than 3,800 volunteers provided their time and expertise to this effort via a comprehensive structure of a campaign cabinet, volunteer committees for each school, college and campus, as well as the University’s Foundation Board of Directors.

“I am extremely proud that so many people believe in the University of Washington,” said UW President Mark Emmert. “Every gift of every amount was an important contribution to our efforts to reach more students, to make new scientific discoveries and to recruit more world-class faculty.”

The campaign’s largest donor was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which awarded the UW more than $400 million.

During Campaign UW, the number of endowed scholarships and fellowships almost grew from 752 to more than 1,400 and endowments funded for chairs and professorships more than doubled from 150 to 326. Two endowed deanships were created and a third has been pledged. The value of the UW’s Consolidated Endowment Fund, similar to a mutual fund, grew from $887 million to $2.1 billion as of March 31, 2008, its most recent investment date.

Gifts during the campaign funded several major new campus buildings: the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering, William H. Gates Hall (Law School), the William H. Foege Building (bioengineering and genome sciences), and PACCAR Hall (Business School) on the Seattle campus; and the William W. Philip Assembly Hall on the Tacoma campus.

Every single unit at the UW—all schools and colleges, as well as UW Bothell and UW Tacoma—achieved its campaign goals.

Among the most significant achievements of the campaign was raising almost $118 million through the Students First scholarship program, which provides funds for undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships for financially needy students. Students First became a key way for donors to help the UW implement its ground-breaking “Husky Promise,” which guarantees full tuition for academically qualified students from low and lower-middle income families.

Other major initiatives made possible by the campaign include: creation of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation which monitors global health conditions and evaluates health care programs worldwide; creation of a Department of Global Health which focuses on identification and evaluation of health problems and health inequities in underserved populations; and establishment of Partners for Our Children, a public-private partnership between the UW School of Social work and the state to create positive change within the Washington’s child welfare system.

The conclusion of the campaign does not mean a diminution in the UW’s fundraising efforts, said Connie Kravas, vice president for university advancement. “Campaign UW: Creating Futures has occurred during a period when our region has emerged as one of the most philanthropic areas of the country. We are profoundly grateful for the outpouring of generosity we have experienced and hope that the experience of giving by so many people—hundreds of thousands–has permanently changed their awareness of the importance of private support to the UW and to other causes in our community. Moreover, the UW continues to pursue ambitious, life-enhancing goals that can be achieved only with the help of significant private philanthropy.”

The work of the UW Foundation, the volunteer arm of the University’s fundraising program, will continue under the leadership of incoming chair Daniel J. Evans, and each school, college and campus within the university will maintain advisory and volunteer fundraising committees. During the next several years, UW Advancement staff and volunteer leadership will focus on providing exemplary stewardship to all donors, engaging even more alumni and new advocates with all programs of the university, and developing the next generation of volunteer leaders.