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Harvard University Earned $6 Billion in Donations and Pledges

Harvard University has officially raised more than $6 billion in gifts, pledges, and donations through its Capital Campaign, according to members of the college’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The university is two years into its public fundraising phase, and it now appears to be forging ahead robustly. The campaign’s goal is to raise $6.5 billion overall by 2018.

Harvard, whose students have included great minds like Bill Gates and political figures like Barack Obama, has been receiving substantial gifts from alumni and people who want to help. Hedge fund manager and 1989 graduate Kenneth C. Griffin donated $125 million to assist with financial aid at the college in February of 2014—at the time, the largest donation Harvard had ever received. $10 million of that donation will endow a new professorship at the Harvard Business School, which has produced influential businesspeople like Thomas Weisel and Anne Moore, the first female CEO of Time, Inc.

This summer, John A. Paulson, also a hedge fund manager and 1980 graduate, pledged a record-breaking $400 million to Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Paulson’s gift is unrestricted and it establishes a permanent endowment that will be named after him. On his decision to donate to the SEAS, Paulson said that it was “clear that a major priority for Harvard was to establish the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Allston as the next center for technological innovation.”

Though it looks like Harvard will reach its fundraising goal, University President Drew G. Faust announced that there are no current plans to raise the goal of the campaign. In total, the campaign has received 179,721 gifts, the majority of which came from a group of 40 donors who each donated at least $10 million.

Because of the budget cut the university faces—being Harvard does not exempt it from the same kinds of cuts all universities around the country face—it will need to rely on what the Capital Campaign provides. Specific areas targeted for funding include House Renewal and the Student Experience, Leading in Learning, Faculty and the Scholarly Enterprise, and the Dean’s Leadership Fund, in addition to those areas mentioned above.