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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Oct. 19, 2007

ISU launches largest fund-raising campaign in university history

by Paula Van Brocklin

During a special kick-off event for faculty, staff and students Oct. 19, President Gregory Geoffroy announced the public launch of an $800 million comprehensive fund-raising campaign that will raise private dollars to address the university's primary goals. Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose is the largest campaign in Iowa State history.

Faculty and staff submitted suggestions for Iowa State's top priorities, tied to the university's strategic plan. Geoffroy, university deans and other key leaders reviewed the submissions and determined four key areas will be supported through Campaign Iowa State:

  • Student support -- $235 million. Of the more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students who attend Iowa State, fewer than 4,000 receive privately funded scholarships from the university each year. Funding would help support merit- and need-based scholarships. Funds also will provide additional leadership programs and international experiences.
  • Faculty support -- $215 million. One of the most effective ways to attract and retain world-class faculty members is to offer endowed chairs, professorships and fellowships. Campaign Iowa State seeks to double the number of endowed faculty positions from 75 to 150.
  • Program support -- $195 million. From the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods to the Cyclone marching band, Iowa State offers hundreds of academic and co-curricular programs. Additional funding will support both out-of-classroom and academic programs. It also will increase the number of graduate, professional and research programs.
  • Facility support -- $155 million. The beauty of Iowa State's campus is punctuated by a blend of historic and modern buildings. Renovation and repair of existing buildings is critical, yet modern facilities are necessary to accommodate new technologically advanced programs. Through Campaign Iowa State, the university is seeking funds for major building and renovation projects.

It is common for universities conducting fund-raising campaigns to raise a significant amount of the goal prior to the public announcement, during what is called "the quiet phase." This helps launch the campaign with momentum, and encourages donors to support a successful effort. Iowa State officially began the quiet phase of Campaign Iowa State on July 1, 2003. The campaign concludes Dec. 31, 2010.

To date, the campaign has received $508 million in gifts and commitments from almost 100,000 donors. This dollar amount surpasses the $458 million raised during Campaign Destiny, which ended in 2000. The Partnership for Prominence campaign, from 1988 to 1993, raised $214.5 million.

Donors are encouraged to invest in areas that interest them most, whether it's the arts, athletics, student scholarships or an endowed faculty position. Currently there are 4,400 established funds that receive private support. But a donor may work with the university and foundation to create a new fund.

"The achievements of this campaign will transform Iowa State for many years to come," Geoffroy said. "With the support of committed alumni and friends, there is no limit to the possibilities our future holds."

Campaign Iowa State

Faculty and staff important to campaign's success

Prior to the public launch of Campaign Iowa State, ISU employees and retirees already donated

$18 million during the quiet phase, which began in 2003. This number surpasses by $3 million the amount faculty and staff contributed during the entire Campaign Destiny, which concluded in 2000. The current campaign ends Dec. 31, 2010.

Architecture professor Gregory Palermo, who is helping coordinate the faculty and staff component of the campaign, said employees must remember that their donations -- no matter how big or small -- make a difference in students' lives.

"Collectively, many people can make a big difference," he said. "There are students who need assistance to get a higher education. We can help students who are academically strong and have a financial need."

Elizabeth Beck, retired director of the Honors Program, also is helping coordinate the employee and retiree portion of the campaign. She said private financial support often is most visible in bricks and mortar. "Yet it also can enrich students' educations in several other ways, including financial support for research, scholarships, field trips or guest lecturers.

"As individuals who work at Iowa State and believe in the power of education, it is important for us to contribute with our dollars as well as our time and energy, and continue the academic excellence of Iowa State," Beck said.

How to donate

Faculty and staff will receive information via campus mail later this fall detailing how to contribute to Campaign Iowa State. The ISU Foundation also has created a Web site for the campaign,, where employees may sign up to contribute. Instructions on how to have donations deducted from payroll are available on the site.