President David Skorton announced Oct. 21 an expansion of the fundraising campaign launched in 2006, citing Cornell's capacity to develop solutions to the world's most pressing challenges as well as a redoubled commitment among Cornellians to the university's founding principles in approach of the 2015 sesquicentennial.
"To realize our aspirations," Skorton said to hundreds of assembled trustees, council members, faculty and friends in Statler Auditorium, "we need the engagement, guidance, help and support of every person in this room and tens of thousands of loyal Cornellians around the country and the world."
The campaign, called "Cornell Now," seeks to raise a total of $4.75 billion in private support of the Ithaca campus and the Weill Cornell Medical College -- $1.4 billion in additional gifts by December 2015.
Fully endorsed by the Cornell Board of Trustees, the campaign goals align with the university's strategic plan, which was developed by Provost Kent Fuchs and deans across the university. Cornell will seek the resources needed to implement key priorities. Hiring new faculty, increasing faculty diversity and nurturing current professors are top priorities, especially as senior members of the faculty near retirement. Creating graduate fellowships and scholarships for professional school students and increasing funds available for undergraduate scholarships are also among the campaign's priorities. All of Cornell's colleges, schools and units, including Weill Cornell, have set target goals in this second phase of the campaign. In addition, funds raised will be used to bolster public engagement.
And, with the unanimous vote of the board of trustees in support of Cornell's proposal for a new campus in New York City and its inclusion as a fundraising priority, Skorton summed it up in two words: "excellence" and "commitment." He added that the new campus will bring excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship to New York City, and Cornell is committed to the future of New York City.
"Despite the recent recession and a difficult economy, Cornell's alumni, parents and friends have given a record-breaking $3.3 billion since the campaign launched in 2006," said Charlie Phlegar, vice president for alumni affairs and development. "'Cornell Now' will build on our success and make a significant impact on the university at a critical juncture. The generosity and commitment among Cornellians is tremendous, and we have every reason to move forward with renewed confidence."
"The pride that so many of us feel about being Cornellians," Skorton said after laying out the campaign's goals, "no matter what our major or college or the path we've followed since earning our degrees; the sense that we are part of a great and noble enterprise, where ideas matter and where human society can be improved and individual lives transformed, that's Cornell's magic and it continues to ground us and inspire us and motivate us to become the university we aspire to be and we can be and we must be and we will be."
• Create faculty for the future -- $70 million for faculty renewal and diversity;
• Enhance access -- $157 million for undergraduate scholarships; $25 million for international undergraduate students; $100 million for graduate fellowships and professional school scholarships;
• Advance critical areas of the university to achieve academic leadership -- $100 million for humanities and the fine arts; $76 million for business and management sciences; $40 million for sustainable development, energy and the environment; $35 million for economics; $30 million for life sciences; $10 million for social sciences;
• Catalyze connections across colleges -- $5 million for Ithaca-Weill joint programs; additional goals established within Ithaca's colleges, schools and units;
• Develop a culture of excellence in education -- $56 million for excellence in education funds;
• Strengthen Cornell's people, programs and facilities -- $30 million yearly in unrestricted gifts to the Cornell Annual Fund;
• Reflect global diversity -- $10 million for international programs; and
• Improve lives, find solutions -- $20 million for service-learning programs and public engagement.