UW News

October 21, 2016

University of Washington launches historic $5 billion philanthropic campaign

UW News

The University of Washington on Friday is launching the public phase of its most ambitious philanthropic campaign in history, with a goal of raising $5 billion by the year 2020.

The campaign, called “Be Boundless — For Washington, For the World,” focuses on four key priorities: transforming the student experience, expanding the impact of the UW’s research, empowering possibility through innovation, and driving the public good. The earliest phases of the campaign began in 2010, and the UW has already received more than $3 billion toward its goal.

Put your Dubs up! Silhouette of hand making the W shape.

Put your Dubs up! Silhouette of hand making the W shape.Katherine B. Turner/U. of Washington

The public launch will be marked by a multimedia show celebrating the impact of the UW and its students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends called “Together,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, in Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. UW President Ana Mari Cauce, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former Gov. Dan Evans, Microsoft President Brad Smith and many faculty, staff, and students will participate.

“This campaign is about expanding our commitment to serve Washington and the Puget Sound region and to making a difference that is felt far beyond our own backyard,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “Everything we do – from conducting groundbreaking research and scholarship, to providing our students with a transformative educational experience, and the patients we serve with the highest quality care – is about making a positive impact on our region, nation and world. Supporting that goal together helps ensure a better future for all of us.”

Join us for Together, a spectacular multimedia experience.

7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Ed Pavilion

Registration is now closed. Watch the event live online.


While fundraising does not replace state funding, it allows the UW to offer scholarships and unique programs and research opportunities for students, recruit and retain world-class faculty, build and maintain buildings around campus to expand capacity and increase the lifespan of existing structures, and much more. Some specific areas of emphasis for the campaign include strengthening the UW’s new 25-year vision for improving population health; expanding the capacity of computer science, engineering, and other areas to meet pressing student demand; and advancing UW Medicine’s education, patient care and research.

A generation ago, major fundraising campaigns for public universities were rare. This began to change as state support began to erode and tuition was relied upon more to support basic functions of universities. As public universities’ quest for excellence intensified, philanthropic support began to take on a more prominent role in university funding. It is these dollars that often spell the difference between being a very good institution and being an exceptional one.

Hundreds of people in the community are involved as volunteers for the campaign, assisting the University’s schools, colleges, and campuses in seeking broad-based support for the effort. And hundreds of thousands of people in the community and around the world will participate in the campaign as donors, investing in a future to help make the world better, healthier, safer, and more prosperous.

Many of the campaign’s priorities reflect areas for which state funding cannot keep pace with the investments required to maintain excellence in particular programs. Some of the gifts raised will go toward the University’s endowment for long-term, stable support.

The campaign general chairs are Jeff and Susan Brotman, Jodi Green and Mike Halperin, Bob and Micki Flowers, and Janet and Orin Smith. Bill and Mimi Gates are honorary chairs. The launch events and a year-long student service initiative to coincide with the campaign have been underwritten by corporate sponsors, including Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, The Seattle Times, AT&T, Banner Bank, and BECU. No taxpayer funds, tuition, or general donation funds are being used for the campaign launch experiences.