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Even success does not slow Campaign for Duke

Although the academic year draws to a close today and next week, the development office is still abuzz.

Donations have remained at a constant clip since The Campaign for Duke broke its $2 billion goal in January, but three divisions - Arts and Sciences, the Divinity School and the libraries - have yet to meet their individual targets, and several significant strategic initiatives are also still underfunded. The overall campaign stands at about $2.054 billion.

"Everything is going about as well as we could expect. We continue to run at the same pace that we've been running," said Campaign Director of Communications and Donor Relations Peter Vaughn. "But we still have a couple of areas - financial aid, faculty support and facilities - that we still need to fill up."

At 90 percent completed, the University Libraries have the most ground to make up percentage-wise, but only $3.8 million more is necessary to hit their $40 million goal. The Divinity School needs slightly more - $4.8 million - to reach its $85 million target.

The differences, although less than $5 million in each case, are vital for both divisions, as both have multi-million dollar construction projects entering their first phase.

"We need to get there or [construction] will be slowed," Vaughn noted. "There needs to be a certain amount of funds raised and commitments made; no schedule has been slowed yet, but they won't finish without this money being raised."

Arts and Sciences is still $20.8 million shy of its $400 million goal, but Vaughn said he expects that division and the two others to hit their marks by the official December 31 deadline.

The still struggling economy, the war in Iraq and the campaign's achievement of its overall goal have not significantly affected the development office's efforts.

"Just as it has been during the last couple years with the economy, we haven't noticed much of a change; occasionally there are some valleys, but things seem to be rolling," Vaughn said.

Giving typically picks up in the next several months, as the University's fiscal year, as well as the Annual Fund's campaigning year, end June 30. July and August are usually slower, but fundraising should kick into high gear again in the fall, with the school year starting and the campaign's finish line on the horizon, Vaughn said.

Beyond the three divisions that have yet to reach their goals, development officers are concentrating most on the three across-the-board initiatives - financial aid, faculty and facilities - which are still underfunded.

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