UW News

October 11, 2018

380,000+ donors help the UW reach campaign milestone two years early

Be Boundless campaign supports scholarships, faculty, research, patient care

Thanks to the generosity of more than 380,000 donors, the University of Washington met its fundraising campaign goal two years ahead of schedule, and will now seek broad support to enhance the experiences of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a range of identified college and school priorities.

Donor commitments to the Be Boundless — For Washington, For the World campaign have surpassed $5 billion. The campaign will continue through 2020 as planned, with a focus on investments in people — including scholarships, fellowships and financial aid for undergraduate, graduate and professional students — as well as support for the work of faculty, staff and clinicians as they advance the UW’s public mission.

State support is essential for funding the University’s core educational mission. Meanwhile, private philanthropy supplements and enriches students’ educational experiences, funds scholarships, supports research and capital projects, and benefits programs that serve communities in Washington and beyond. Virtually all gifts and grants are designated by donors for specific purposes and cannot be used for other spending. They do not replace core educational funding provided through tuition and state appropriations.

“We are deeply grateful for this unprecedented investment in our students, patients and all those we serve. People truly give through the University of Washington — so from scholarships and professorships to breakthrough research and public service, we are proud to channel the amazing generosity of so many supporters into a better world for all,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce.

Of the more than 380,000 donors to the campaign, nearly 70 percent gave less than $500. The campaign officially started in 2010 and had its public launch in October 2016.

“Our generous community has given us great momentum,” said Susan Brotman, Be Boundless campaign co-chair. “During the final two years of the campaign, we are asking alumni and friends to invest in our undergraduate and graduate students as they work toward their dreams, and to support our world-class faculty, staff and clinicians. We each give for causes we care about, and together, we can create a world of good.”

Since the campaign began, donors have made a significant impact on major University initiatives, including advancing the UW’s work to improve population health, establishing the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and establishing the Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine. These and other gifts pioneer new cures and innovations that improve the quality of life for thousands here in Washington and across the globe.

Some recent examples of the Be Boundless campaign’s impact include:

  • Supporting students through scholarships, fellowships and programs like the Husky Promise. The Husky Promise program ensures that financial barriers don’t prevent Washington students from earning a UW degree. In the past year, the program has covered the tuition and fees of nearly 10,000 students from Washington, and since its inception in 2007 it has enabled more than 40,000 students to attend the UW. Also in the last year, there were 438 gifts to support the Husky Promise, with an average gift of $369.
  • Expanding mental health care. Access to mental health care is a challenge faced by residents across Washington, and in November 2017 donors raised $9.2 million to support mental health initiatives, including the UW Medicine Behavioral Health Institute at Harborview Medical Center. The institute will advance mental health research, training, advocacy and care.
  • Enhancing our understanding of Washington’s coasts. The health and economy of much of Washington are tied to the ocean. With threats ranging from pollution to climate change, it is vital to understand these shared waters. Thanks to a $1 million gift, the RV Rachel Carson is now enabling researchers and students to explore waters in Puget Sound and nearby coasts.
  • Restoring power to Puerto Rico. Thousands of Puerto Ricans faced life without electricity for months after Hurricane Maria, which hit those who rely on in-home health devices the hardest. With support from donors and the UW’s Clean Energy Institute, faculty, students, staff and alumna from the UW travelled to the community of Jayuya, where they worked with residents to install solar-powered battery systems to power their home health equipment.
  • Investing in the next generation of public leaders. Public servants are critical to everything from healthy communities to safe roads. Just this month, 275 supporters of the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance collectively gave more than $245,000for graduate student fellowships. These fellowships will help students pursue a career in public service regardless of their financial circumstances.

The Be Boundless campaign is led by co-chairs Susan Brotman, Bob Flowers, Micki Flowers, Jodi Green, Mike Halperin and Janet Smith, and honorary chairs Bill Gates Sr. and Mimi Gates. More information is at uw.edu/boundless.


For more information, contact Victor Balta at 206-543-2580 or balta@uw.edu.