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'We Will' surpasses $3 billion, 121,000 donors

Milestones mark progress toward goals of $3.75 billion, 141,000 donors

Arch at Northwestern University

"We Will" Campaign Surpasses $3 Billion, 121,000 Donors

EVANSTON - Just two and a half years since Northwestern University publicly launched its largest fundraising campaign ever, the University has raised more than $3 billion toward its $3.75 billion goal for We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, making it one of only a few U.S. universities ever to have raised this amount in a campaign. More than 121,000 supporters have contributed to this milestone achievement, marking significant progress toward the Campaign’s goal of 141,000 supporters. 

Propelling Northwestern past the $3 billion mark was a gift from Christopher B. Galvin ’73, ’77 MBA, ’11 P, University trustee, and his wife, Cynthia B. Galvin ’78, ’11 P, to support the Kellogg School of Management and the NUseeds Fund. In total, the broader Galvin family — including Chris and Cindy Galvin; Chris’ mother, alumna Mary B. Galvin ’45; and Chris’ sister, Dawn Galvin Meiners ’96 P, whose son Michael Meiners ’96 attended the School of Communication — and the Robert W. Galvin Foundation have contributed more than $18 million to the University during the “We Will” Campaign.

“Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Galvin family and the entire Northwestern community year after year, the University occupies a position held by few other elite universities,” Northwestern President Morton Schapiro said. “Not only have we raised $3 billion from our incredible alumni, parents and friends, but we have done so at such a rapid pace that our students and faculty are already benefiting from the impact of this support.”

So far throughout the “We Will” Campaign, Northwestern has established 271 new endowed scholarships and fellowships, enabling generations of top students access to a Northwestern education. In the 2015-16 academic year alone, Campaign gifts supported 1,300 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students. This spring, the University announced major enhancements to financial aid for its students, eliminating loans for qualifying first-year students and expanding funding for study abroad, undergraduate research and other learning opportunities. Graduate student stipends also were increased.

Through the Campaign, Northwestern supporters have made gifts towards 56 new endowed professorships across the University. In addition, the Campaign has literally transformed the Evanston campus, as state-of-the-art new facilities made possible by philanthropic gifts — including the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical ArtsSegal Visitors Center and student innovation incubator The Garage -- have opened their doors to students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Additional programs receiving financial support through the Campaign include the Bobbie and Stanton Cook Family Writing Program, which seeks to help all Northwestern students learn to write clearly, thoughtfully and effectively; the University’s popular Summer Internship Grant Program, which provides support to Northwestern students participating in unpaid internships; and new and renovated residence halls such as the new building at 560 Lincoln St., which will open in September 2017.

University Trustee Lanny Martin ’68, ’73 JD, ’02 P, ’07 P, ’08 P, co-chair of the “We Will” Campaign, updated University volunteers on the Campaign’s progress at the Sept. 22 Northwestern Leadership Symposium.

“Investments in students, faculty, programs and facilities are helping us attract the very best people and ensuring Northwestern’s place among the world’s leading research universities,” he said. “Yet there is much more to accomplish in the Campaign, and we need continued support in order to continue the University’s trajectory.”

The “We Will” Campaign holds the promise of further, ambitious undertakings such as the expansion of a competitive, multidisciplinary computer science program; the construction of the Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center on the Chicago campus; and the fulfilment of the University’s new no-loan commitment, announced in March 2016.  

“Each and every gift has helped advance the University,” said University Trustee Paula B. Pretlow ’77, ’78 MBA, Campaign co-chair for participation. “And I know that our global Northwestern community will do all that it can to continue this momentum through the end of the Campaign and beyond.”

As part of the “We Will” Campaign, many Northwestern schools and programs identified fundraising goals for their areas throughout the Campaign. Northwestern Medicine is the largest component of the “We Will” Campaign. Northwestern Medicine, consisting of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, has raised more than $1.36 billion towards its goal of $1.75 billion.

The following schools and departments have already surpassed their individual goals (indicated in parentheses): the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences ($250 million), Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law ($150 million), University Libraries ($35 million), The Graduate School ($6 million) and the School of Professional Studies ($3 million). As the “We Will” Campaign continues, these schools and programs will continue their efforts to raise support for key initiatives.

The funds raised through the “We Will” Campaign are helping realize the transformational vision set forth in Northwestern’s strategic plan and solidify the University’s position among the world’s leading research universities. More information on We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern is available at

Topics: Gifts

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