$450 Million Comprehensive Campaign Goes Public

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

This Monday, The Daily Gazette met with Secretary of the College and Vice President for Communications Nancy Nicely, Vice President of Advancement Karl Clauss, and Associate Vice President/Campaign Director Don Cooney to have a conversation about the $450 million comprehensive campaign that will be known as “Changing Lives, Changing the World.”

Changing Lives, Changing the World is a fundraising campaign that goes back to the goals outlined in Strategic Directions, a plan developed in December of 2011 under President Rebecca Chopp.

The campaign is made up of four key themes:

  1. Connecting the Liberal Arts ($100 million)
  2. Building a More Inclusive Community ($130 million)
  3. Enhancing Our Social Impact ($70 million)
  4. Creating Vital Spaces ($150 million)

Of the $130 million to “Build a More Inclusive Community,” $100 million will go to financial aid. $45 million of the $150 million to “Create Vital Spaces” will go towards student and community spaces, which may include changes to Sharples and the possibility for the addition of student spaces.

During Chopp’s presidency, the comprehensive campaign was still in its “quiet phase.”

The “quiet phase”, Clauss explains, was an opportunity to assess the capacity of the constituency and the time to “solicit some key principle-level gifts at the top of the pyramid,” he said.

However, in the fall of 2014, President Chopp left the college, and two years were added to the length of the “quiet phase” in addition to $50 million in  fundraising efforts.

“We had the benefit of a couple more years,” Clauss said of the additional $50 million.

Clauss also explained that Val Smith’s inauguration prompted the visioning exercise and the added emphasis on investing in student spaces.

Clauss and Cooney explain that the quiet phase has resulted in the raising of $253 million dollars in commitments and includes contributions such as the Matchbox, full endowment of the Aydelotte Foundation, renovations to Parrish Hall, $50 million in financial aid, and $15 million in faculty research.

“Several faculty chairs have been supported through the quiet phrase,”  Cooney added.

Following Friday afternoon’s Changing Lives, Changing the World launch, the public phase of the comprehensive campaign has begun and is set to last until June 30, 2020. Now, donations are open to the public.

Some of the fundraising efforts that will take place during the public phase include events like  “Break Val’s Bank”, where Valerie Smith and David McElhinny ’75 match senior contributions dollar for dollar, and “The Day of Giving”, which is a challenge to have 1,864 donors in 1,864 minutes. If that goal is met, an anonymous Board member and their spouse will contribute a million dollars to the College.

“A huge drive for the campaign really is the Swarthmore student experience,” Cooney emphasised.

“There’s a place for everyone in this campaign,” he said.

Natalie Flores

Natalie, a desert-dweller, has recently declared a Psychology major and minors in Linguistics and Art History. It is quite possible that she will never leave The Daily Gazette and will eventually die in the Parrish 4th office.

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