Category: Giving News, Transformative Opportunities

Title:University Campaign Crosses Major Milestone

Front gate to Georgetown University campus

At the end of August, and nearly a year ahead of plan, Georgetown University’s For Generations to Come campaign officially crossed its overall dollar goal of $1.5 billion. While pausing to acknowledge and celebrate this accomplishment, University officials and volunteer leaders quickly emphasized that much remains to be done in the 10 months before the campaign officially closes on June 30, 2016.

“We began this campaign by setting out a new and ambitious goal for our University—a recognition of the extraordinary commitment to service and leadership that defines the Georgetown community,” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said. “I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the 100,000 alumni and other donors who have shown their support during this campaign and have helped to share and shape our vision for Georgetown’s future.”

Campaign Chair William J. Doyle (C’72, Parent) echoed DeGioia’s gratitude, but added, “We’ve surpassed the original dollar goal and we’re justifiably proud about that, but we want to keep building momentum until the very end. There are still several important objectives to accomplish, most notably scholarships and financial aid, which benefit every single aspect of the entire University.”

Far-Reaching Impact

The $1.5 billion committed to date supports specific investments and initiatives across the University, from student scholarships and academic centers to campus infrastructure and pioneering programs.

Some of the highlights of the campaign so far include:

  • Raising $373 million for student scholarships, almost quadrupling past annual results for scholarships
  • Increasing alumni participation in annual giving by almost 40 percent
  • Establishing the McCourt School of Public Policy with a $100 million philanthropic commitment from Frank H. McCourt Jr. (C’75), the largest gift in the University’s history
  • Establishing the Steers Center for Global Real Estate, thanks to the generosity of industry luminary and past board member Robert H. Steers (B’75) and his wife Lauren
  • Establishing the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation, developed and made possible through a $10 million gift from philanthropists Alberto and Olga María (SFS’81) Beeck, parents of three Hoyas and longtime volunteer leaders
  • Creating the McDevitt Faculty Endowment to support chairs in theology, philosophy, physics, computer science and law. The $78 million bequest from alumnus Robert McDevitt (C’40) and his wife Catherine was the largest in University history when received in late 2008; it has since grown to more than $110 million. The fund fully supports five chairs now with others to be added in the future.
  • Launching the Georgetown Environment Initiative, a multi-campus interdisciplinary effort for the advanced study of the environment, funded by a $20 million gift from an anonymous donor
  • Making substantial investments in campus facilities, including the Healey Family Student Center, Regents Hall, the Calcagnini Contemplative Center, the Dahlgren Chapel renovation and the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center (scheduled to open in August 2016).

Remaining Goals

In the final year of the For Generations to Come campaign, active fundraising will continue on an array of previously announced priorities, but two objectives will receive special attention:

  • Building the Scholarship Endowment
    Before the public phase of the campaign began in October 2011, the world was hit by a financial crisis and ensuing recession. This led the University to postpone the public launch of the campaign and to revise its campaign plan with a much higher scholarship goal.
    Georgetown has raised more in scholarship funding within the nine years of this campaign than in the prior 216-year history of the University, but still has a considerable way to go to achieve its admittedly ambitious objective of $500 million.
    To remain accessible to the brightest students—and compete for talent with top-tier universities around the country—continuing to build scholarship fundraising and expanding the permanent endowment are significant priorities.
  • Reaching a Historic Level of Participation
    Broad-based alumni participation in annual giving is the foundation of every university’s fundraising efforts and every successful campaign. Giving is also an important measure of alumni engagement with their alma mater.
    The public phase of this campaign included a commitment to increase the percentage of alumni giving annually from around 25 percent—about 30th best in the nation—to 35 percent or more. Last year, giving reached an all-time high of 34.5 percent, and the plan is to shatter the 35 percent mark in 2015-16.
    Much of the progress has been driven by increased giving from the University’s five youngest alumni classes, who have the highest average annual giving rate of any other segment.

Notable Recent Gifts

An influx of recent gifts enabled Georgetown to cross the $1.5 billion line nearly a year ahead of schedule.

  • A bequest expectancy of $5 million from anonymous Georgetown parents will create a scholarship fund to recruit exceptional students who exhibit financial need. An affiliated grant program will provide a means for these students to pursue research, attend off-campus symposia and take unpaid internships, activities that enrich the overall academic experience but are otherwise unaffordable for students on financial aid.
    “My wife and I are pleased to be able to play a role in this historic moment for the University,” said the donor. “It is important to us that Georgetown is able to attract ambitious students who might add significantly to the world’s art, science, research, governance, international understanding, philosophy and the like.”
  • A gift from James (M’72) and Christine Sehn will fund a surgery research professorship within the School of Medicine. It will be named in honor of his father, Francis James Sehn, a pioneer in robotic engineering.
  • A gift of $1 million from George W. Bilicic Jr. (L’88), a member of the Law School’s Board of Visitors, will create the Bilicic Family Endowed Scholarship Fund for aspiring law school students.
  • An anonymous $2 million future gift through a trust will establish a faculty endowment within Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics.

These generous gifts, and countless others like them, ensure that Georgetown provides a rich and well-rounded education to undergraduates and graduates alike, preparing all students to carry on the Jesuit tradition of ‘men and women for others’ in a changing world.

For more information on recent gifts, campaign results and ongoing priorities, visit