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Campaign enters final stage with $2.2B goal near

There are buckets still to be filled, chickens to be brought home to roost and wood left to chop.

Only 12 weeks remain in the Campaign for Duke, and University officials are making one last push to finish the campaign strong, with a $2.2 billion target realistically in sight. As of this past weekend, the campaign sat at $2.1591 billion, about 108 percent of the original $2 billion goal.

Several divisions of the campaign, however, are still short of their marks, including Arts and Sciences, at about $393 million of a $400 million goal, and the libraries, at about $38 million of a targeted $40 million. Furthermore, the University-wide priorities of financial aid, facilities and faculty support are also about a combined $165 million short.

To fill those buckets, University officials will likely tally up more frequent flyer miles in the next three months than they did the first three months of the campaign as they "focus on the finish," Vice President for Development Robert Shepard told the Board of Trustees Friday.

"We want to finish running through the tape and not to the tape," Shepard said.

Leading the charge will be President Nan Keohane and Board of Trustees Chair Peter Nicholas, also chair of the campaign.

"'Focus on the finish' [is] not just a slogan. We really are aware that we only have three months to accomplish some very significant remaining goals and that there are quite a few people out there who we feel are ready to make these gifts if we can just get to them or get back to them," Keohane said. "There were people who said six months or a year ago, 'Well I'm interested, but this is not a good time financially, come back when things look better.' Well, things look better and we've got three months to go back to them."

She added that although the University will continue fundraising after Jan. 1, 2004, there are a number of potential donors who would like to be part of the campaign before the clock strikes midnight.

"But you've got to get to them," Keohane said. "They don't pick up the phone, and say, 'Remember when you asked me for money a year ago?' That's not the way it works."

Nicholas said the success of the campaign thus far should help in the final push.

"There are so many people, as you can imagine, who are holding off to see how it goes, and it's gone so far beyond the expectations of anyone that there's no excuse for those who have been the fence-sitters," Nicholas said. "So I'm looking forward to an increased pace of activity on a daily and weekly basis."

He noted that the campaign has maintained its strength despite hitting the $2 billion mark in Jan. 2003, almost a full year before the deadline.

"This is quite an unprecedented campaign, not only in a sense that we raised all this money, but we never really skipped a beat through all these pretty awful exogenous influences like wars and terrorism and all the things that would upset any group of people," Nicholas said.

"But those people who have been faithful to Duke have just hung in there as they sort of made choices about things, and Duke continued to be included. It's wonderful. It has to be heart-warming for the faculty," he added.

The University will celebrate the campaign Feb. 28 with a gala event.

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