DURHAM — Duke University announced Saturday a new five-year fundraising campaign to raise $3.25 billion for academic programs, medical education and health research, and its endowment.
The campaign, called Duke Forward: Partnering for the Future, already has received commitments of about $1.325 billion toward the goal during a two-year planning phase.
The money raised will be used to enhance interdisciplinary study and research, expand hands-on education, and broaden the university’s global reach. The university will create new endowed faculty chairmanships and raise money for its financial aid endowment.
“You know the main thing about Duke is that it knows it has only begun to be what it could be,” Duke President Richard H. Brodhead told university supporters at the campaign kickoff Saturday.
“We know how we teach now, but we know we could be an even more imaginative source of education in the future. We know how we do research now, but we know that we could help pioneer new ways to conduct human inquiry that led to places we haven’t got to yet.”
This is the second campuswide fundraising campaign in the university’s history. The first ended in 2003 and raised more than $2.3 billion.
In May, university trustees appointed Brodhead to a new five-year term, a sign he was staying on for a big fundraising drive.
Universities look to raise big dollars as they compete for the best faculty, students, and national and international prestige. Last year, Yale University ended the largest fundraising campaign in its history, raising $3.881 billion.
A goal to ‘be bold’
Private universities took a hit during the recession, when the stock market bottomed out and their endowments plummeted. Some had to put big projects on hold. Duke, for example, slowed development of a new Central Campus. With the stock market recovery, endowments have rebounded.
Duke’s endowment in 2011 was $5.7 billion, up 19 percent from 2010 and ranked 15th in the country, according to an annual study from the National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute.
A specific fundraising target for the endowment has not been established, because much depends on how donors direct their gifts.
Though endowment funds have stabilized, the country and the world continue to wrestle with economic uncertainty. University leaders said they took economic realities into consideration as they discussed the fundraising goal.
University insiders began talking about the fundraising campaign in 2008.
“We took our time to size the goal,” Brodhead said, and they aimed for an amount “that would make a big difference for us, but would be achievable.”
G. Richard Wagoner Jr., Duke Board of Trustees chairman, said as he and his colleagues gathered input on the campaign, they were encouraged to “be bold.”
Where money would go
About $1.25 billion would go toward undergraduate programs, including expanded research opportunities and art education.
More than one-third, $1.2 billion, is slated for medical projects, including research, education, and the elimination of health disparities.
Already, the Duke Endowment has promised $35 million for the Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans Center for Health Education and $15 million to improve hospital facilities for children’s services.
LC Industries, a Durham-based company that is the country’s largest employer of visually impaired people, is giving $12 million for a new Duke Eye Center clinic.
Staff writer Jane Stancill contributed