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Advancement Committee discusses near completion of the University’s Honor the Future campaign

The $5 billion campaign is 99 percent complete as of November 28

The Advancement Committee will convene again during the February meetings of the Board.
The Advancement Committee will convene again during the February meetings of the Board.

The Board of Visitors’ Advancement Committee discussed the success and near completion of the Honor the Future campaign during their meeting Thursday. The University is ahead of schedule with 99 percent of the $5 billion campaign goal reached as of Nov. 28. 

The Honor the Future campaign was launched in 2019 to raise funds for the University’s pillars of education, democracy and research, with the goal of reaching $5 billion in fundraising by June 2025. 

Vice President for Advancement Mark Luellen said even with their campaign progress there is still more important work to be done with some of the University’s schools and units — some, such as the School of Engineering and University Libraries, still less than 80 percent towards their respective fundraising goals. 

“We’re not done,” Luellen said. “We're not slowing down by any means despite this milestone on the horizon.”

The Advancement Committee oversees University development, which includes communication with the public and alumni, organizing outreach events and capital campaigns. 

Since the start of the Honor the Future campaign, there have been just under 230,000 unique donors, including many alumni. The University has received over 40 gifts of a million dollars or more so far this fiscal year, the highest number at this point since the campaign’s launch.

“We're grateful to all of our donors, no matter the size and scale of their philanthropy,” Luellen said. “As our philanthropic growth continues, it has and continues this year to be focused on gifts of a million dollars or more.”

Luellen also presented general fundraising progress, with total commitments for fiscal year 2024, which started on July 1, reaching $265 million by Oct. 30. This marks a 44 percent increase compared to this time in the previous fiscal year. Philanthropic cash flow, funds that the University receives as cash gifts, is at $76.2 million so far, an increase of 45 percent. 

University President Jim Ryan concluded the meeting by thanking David and Kathleen LaCross, guest donors and alumni of the College of Arts and Sciences, the McIntire School of Commerce and the Darden School of Business, for their cumulative contributions of over $100 million to Darden. The family made a donation of $44 million to Darden last October, and their newest contributions will focus on research and instruction in artificial intelligence at Darden. 

The LaCross family’s gift is the largest in Darden’s history and makes them one of the top five donors to the Honor the Future campaign. Dean of the Darden School Scott Beardsley said their gift and impact are a historical moment for Darden. 

“It really signifies a profound commitment to the future of business education,” Beardsley said. “I really do think that it's going to help propel Darden and [the University] to the forefront of artificial intelligence and ethical management practices.”

The Advancement Committee will convene again during the February meetings of the Board.

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