Campaign Highlights

Alumni and Friends Give More Than $346 Million, Completing Most Successful Fund-Raising Year Ever

Fiscal year 2007 was a year of extraordinary milestones at the University of Chicago in every respect. Gifts from alumni and friends totaled more than $346 million, marking the first time the University has raised more than $300 million in a single year. The Chicago Initiative moved into its final year having raised a total of $1.95 billion, putting it ahead of schedule to reach and exceed its $2-billion goal by June 30, 2008. The number of individuals and organizations giving during the course of the Initiative now exceeds 106,000, including more than 46 percent of all alumni and 61 percent of College alumni.

The Medical Center achieved its $700-million campaign goal in May, marking a second consecutive year in which it raised more than $100 million. And the Graduate School of Business reached its campaign goal of $300 million during a remarkable year in which it exceeded its $34-million fund-raising goal.

The 2007 Senior Class Gift in the College set a new record for participation, with more than 740 seniors—71 percent of the Class of 2007—making a gift. Over the last five years, the Senior Class Gift participation rate and amount raised have increased consistently.

$100 Million for Student Aid in the College

In May 2007, the University announced the largest gift in its history, $100 million for undergraduate student aid given by an anonymous alumnus of the College. The historic gift establishes the Odyssey Scholarships, which replace loans with outright grants for students with demonstrated financial need, reducing or eliminating their educational debt. Beginning in autumn 2008, students with financial need whose families earn $60,000 or less per year will have all of their loans replaced with grants, and those whose families earn between $60,000 and $75,000 will have half of their loans replaced with grants. Almost 1,200 undergraduates, 25 percent of the entire College enrollment, are expected to benefit from the program each year.

Because of this important support, Odyssey Scholars will not have to work long hours outside of their studies to finance their education and will have more time to become fully immersed in the rich intellectual and cocurricular life in the College. Following graduation, these students can pursue and excel in the fields that best suit their talents and aspirations, unburdened by large debt.

The $100-million gift that launched the Odyssey Scholarships came with a challenge to Chicago’s alumni, parents, and other friends. The anonymous donor hopes his vision will inspire them to help the University raise the additional $300 million that is needed to strengthen financial aid and fully endow the Odyssey Scholarships in perpetuity.

$35-Million Gift Will Create the Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts

Also in May, the University received a $35-million cash gift from Reva Logan, EX’43, and David Logan, AB’39, JD’41, and their family to name the planned Center for Creative and Performing Arts.

Slated for completion in 2011, the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts, located at 60th Street and Ingleside Avenue, will serve as an anchor for the south side of the University of Chicago campus. The building will become a center for all areas of artistic expression—visual arts, theater and performance, music, and cinema and media—at the University, while strengthening the relationship of arts on campus with arts in Hyde Park, downtown, and throughout the region.

GSB Receives One of Its Largest Gifts Ever

Charles M. Harper, MBA’50, retired chairman and chief executive of ConAgra Foods, gave the Graduate School of Business (GSB) one of the largest cash gifts in its history. The GSB’s building on the Hyde Park campus was named the Charles M. Harper Center in recognition of the generous gift.

The Ludwig Fund Provides $50 Million for Cancer Research

The Virginia & D. K. Ludwig Fund for Cancer Research gave $50 million to the University to create a Ludwig Center for cancer research. One of six centers of its kind in the United States, the Chicago Ludwig Center will focus on metastasis, the process by which cancer cells migrate from a primary tumor to multiple distant sites.

Metastasis is the deadliest aspect of cancer and is frequently associated with treatment resistance. By learning more about why cancer spreads, why it is resistant to treatment, and how metastasis can be targeted, researchers have begun to develop and test new ways to treat patients.

Other Notable Gifts

The Division of the Physical Sciences saw two firsts in the past several months: the first endowed chair in Computer Science, funded by Division Visiting Committee member William Eckhardt, SM’70, and the first endowed chair in Geophysical Sciences, funded by John Sheaffer, SM’58, PhD’64, in honor of former faculty member Gilbert White. In addition, the division received an $800,000 estate gift from Mrs. Joseph Chenicek of Carefree, Arizona, to support graduate student research. Mrs. Chenicek was the widow of Joseph Chenicek, SB’32, PhD’35.

The largest gift ever to the Divinity School, $750,000 from John and Jane Colman, endowed the Martin Marty Center Dissertation Seminar, a unique program to promote excellence in graduate research in the study of religion. Together with funds raised through a challenge from the Colmans, new support for the Marty Seminar totaled $2.25 million.

Faculty of the Graduate School of Business’s Center for Decision Research received a $2.2-million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to fund an interdisciplinary program called “Understanding Human Nature to Harness Human Potential.”

In Recognition

The University honored members of the Harper Society—alumni and friends whose cumulative giving to Chicago totals $500,000 or more—during Chicago Convenes, a daylong event in May that drew four hundred trustees, alumni, and other friends back to campus for stimulating lectures with world-renowned faculty, classroom sessions in the College, and a celebratory dinner in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.

During the dinner, nine individuals and six foundations were inducted into the Harper Society Founders Circle, a group that recognizes alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations that have made lifetime gifts of $1 million or more.

Following the Founders Circle ceremony, Gwen and Jules F. Knapp were awarded the University of Chicago Medal for distinguished service of the highest order. The Knapps’ transformational gifts to the Division of the Biological Sciences and the Medical Center are making possible critical research that will revolutionize the understanding and treatment of some of the most devastating human diseases and potentially eradicate them.