Northwestern University today announced a $3.75 billion fundraising initiative called “We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern.”

The campaign goal is more than twice the $1.55 billion raised during the school’s last major campaign from 1998 to 2003 and is described by the Chicago Tribune as the largest ever in the Chicago area.

University President Morton Schapiro says the school has already raised $1.52 million toward the new campaign’s goal.

The campaign is designed to help finance several already-announced building projects on campus — including some already under construction. In Evanston, they include:

  • A planned new “global hub” for the Kellogg School of Management.
  • The Music and Communication Building  under construction and scheduled to open in 2015.
  • The visitor center under construction at the south end of campus.
  • An athletics and recreation complex planned for the north end of campus.

The construction projects will also include a biomedical research building on the Chicago campus.

“This monumental campaign seeks to amplify Northwestern’s local and global impact — in everything from breakthrough research discoveries to innovations in creative expression to preparing the global leaders of tomorrow,” Schapiro said in a statement. “We will unite as a university community to build an even better Northwestern and to address society’s most critical challenges.”

Campaign gifts will also fund endowed professorships; student scholarships and fellowships; laboratories and research support; new academic centers and institutes; curriculum expansion and academic program support; global initiatives; and other areas.

The university also hopes to broaden its base of annual support among alumni, parents and friends — with a target of 140,995 donors. So far 85,832 donors have made a gift during the campaign’s early phase.

“The extraordinary early support for the Campaign reflects how well our bold vision for the future is resonating with our alumni, parents and friends,” Schapiro said.

Along with the formal announcement of the campaign today, NU unveiled new leadership gifts to it, including:

  • A $40 million unrestricted gift from alumni Mark and Kimbra Walter that the university intends to use in part to support athletics and recreation and scholarships for the School of Law.
  • Gifts totaling $25 million from the Querrey Simpson Charitable Foundation in support of the University’s research efforts applying nanotechnology to regenerative medicine. In recognition of the gift, the Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine will be renamed the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine.
  • A $15 million gift from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to fund multiple initiatives including undergraduate and graduate scholarships, launching an immersion journalism program focused on issues of social justice and advancing the field of reconstruction and restorative surgery to assist men and women seriously wounded in combat.
  • A $7.5 million gift from the Shaw family to the Program in Plant Biology and Conservation, a collaboration between Northwestern and the Chicago Botanic Garden. The gift will fund fellowships for graduate students in the program, which was launched by Northwestern’s Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 2005 to address a critical shortage of botanists and plant conservationists.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Another reason to strip NU of its tax exempt status

    Meanwhile, Northwestern is tax exempt even though it operates like a for profit business with patent royalties and commercial activity that sells tickets to the general public for events and performances.

    NU alreadys has $4 billion in endowments. Other universities make voluntary contributions to their host towns.  Last year, Princeton University, now facing a lawsuit from the town of Princeton to take away the tax exempt status of 19 university buildings, gave a $2.5 million voluntary contribution to the town of Princeton. Northwestern with all of its money has not given such a voluntary monetary contribution to Evanston.

    It's time to strip Northwestern of its tax exempt status.

    1. Strip NU’s tax exemption

      And, by State Laws, the tax-exempt status for Evanston Hospital, St. Francis Hospital

      and each and every Church in Evanston would have to be thrown away.

      so much for religious services, once all the churches are on the tax roles.  And the Noyes Art Center, Evanston Art Center, Music Center of Chicago, probably the Levy Senior Center, etc etc etc etc.


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