The whisper has become a quiet roar!
Heidelberg University officially launched its $50 million fundraising campaign for academics – the largest in its history – by announcing Saturday that $37 million (74 percent of the goal) has already been realized.
President Robert H. Huntington broke the news to about 500 alumni gathered on campus to celebrate Alumni Weekend. Huntington announced that five members of the university’s Board of Trustees have stepped up with multi-million-dollar lead gifts in support of the Academic Comprehensive Campaign for Excellence (ACCE).
“Heidelberg University has never executed anything remotely close to this,” Huntington said. “We are sending a message to the world … Heidelberg is moving upward, faster, and it’s all about transforming academics.”
Fundraising for ACCE has been in the quiet phase since July 2010. During that period, nearly $7 million has been raised for a series of projects and programs identified as university priorities related to improving academic excellence and the student experience at Heidelberg. Additionally, the Class of 1962, on campus en masse to celebrate the golden anniversary of their graduation, presented Huntington with a gift of $2.6 million as its 50-Year Reunion Gift, most of which was also designated to ACCE.
Huntington announced today that the five trustees who came forward to support ACCE have committed to leadership gifts totaling $28 million. These and other ACCE contributions are coming to the university in the form of cash, pledges and deferred estate gifts.
“We have already created and achieved the largest fundraising initiative in Heidelberg’s history,” Huntington said. “These gifts are nothing short of transformational. Our donors understand fully the vital impact their gifts will make in the lives of students, both now and in the future, as well as from the past, through increased academic value.
“It is a tremendous honor to be able to announce major gifts of this magnitude and immediate impact. This is a high-water mark in Heidelberg’s history.”
In addition to the major gifts, Huntington announced that donors have designated six endowed faculty chairs in their cash, pledges and estate gifts. The endowed chairs will be the first in Heidelberg’s history. “We have gone from zero to six in a flash,” Huntington said.
ACCE, the key initiative in Heidelberg’s Strategic Action Plan, will raise $50 million over five years to deliver critical academic resources in four areas: people, infrastructure, programs and facilities. ACCE funds will be directed toward a series of needs, including faculty support, development and research, academic support for students, technology, science equipment, the Faculty AIM Hei Student Mentoring Program, scholarships, international study and several facility upgrades.
The first phase of the overall Strategic Action Plan, at $15 million, is nearly complete. It focused on a series of capital projects including the renovation of Adams Hall and its Heidelberg School of Business as well as the Media Communication Center, construction of the Residence Life & Learning Hall and The University Commons, and the Saurwein Health & Wellness Center, due to open this summer.
“We are going to become better, bigger, stronger and smarter, and ACCE is the vehicle that’s going to help get us there,” Huntington said.