Duke Forward campaign reaches fundraising goal ahead of schedule

<p>The Duke Forward campaign aimed to raise&nbsp;$3.25 billion by June 30, 2017.&nbsp;</p>

The Duke Forward campaign aimed to raise $3.25 billion by June 30, 2017. 

Duke Forward reached its goal of $3.25 billion Tuesday, confirmed Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations.

In September 2012, Duke announced the start of Duke Forward, its second and largest capital campaign to date with a goal of raising $3.25 billion by June 30, 2017. Despite accomplishing the goal almost a year early, Schoenfeld said that Duke Forward fundraising will continue through next year.

"The Duke Forward campaign got off to a strong start and has seen no falling off such as is expected in a multiyear effort. Reaching the goal a full year early is an extraordinary testimony to the belief people have in this University and its mission," wrote President Richard Brodhead in an email. "As I have often said, the dollar goal is not the goal. The campaign's real goal is the high quality education and research these funds will make possible for Duke faculty and students."

Duke Forward set aside different fundraising goals for each of Duke's 10 schools, athletics, the libraries and "University-wide priorities." It also had goals for three campaign themes—boundaries not included, blazing new paths and fueling uncontainable ideas.

"With one more year left in the campaign, we need to continue working to meet all of the campaign’s strategic objectives," wrote Robert Shepard, vice president of alumni affairs and development, in an email to donors and Duke staff Tuesday. "Our focus will be on meeting all schools’ and campus priorities. Among these are financial aid, faculty support, Bass Connections and interdisciplinary initiatives in the arts, energy, global health and innovation and entrepreneurship."

The campaign has now raised more than $390 million toward financial aid and established 77 new endowed professorships, the email noted. 

As of October, the Duke Forward campaign had raised $2.88 billion toward its goal. Jennifer Haslip, executive director of development marketing and communications for the Office of University Development, noted then the importance of continuing the campaign even if meeting the goal ahead of schedule.

“We need to ensure that foundational areas like financial aid and faculty support are adequately funded,” Haslip wrote in an email at the time. “Receiving additional support beyond the campaign’s goal in areas like these sets us up to better serve our students and our faculty in the future.”

Editor's note: This article was updated Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. to include Brodhead's comment. 


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