College & Workforce Readiness

Colleges

April 04, 2001 2 min read

Successful Campaign: High school outreach efforts will be among the beneficiaries of a record-setting fund-raising campaign by the University of California, Berkeley, that raised $1.4 billion in private donations. That is the largest amount ever raised by a public university, school administrators said.

Almost $38 million of that will be used to increase funding for the university’s initiatives in high schools. Such programs include full scholarships for disadvantaged high school students who qualify academically.

The Berkeley Pledge, an initiative to attract more underrepresented students that was in place before the University of California regents ended affirmative action in 1995, will receive $9.8 million.

The fund- raising effort, Campaign for a New Century, began in 1993 in part to retain professors after early-retirement offers and budget cutbacks led to the loss of hundreds of faculty. The campaign surpassed its goal of raising $1.1 billion.

Gifts from Berkeley alumni, as well as donations from corporations and foundations, filled the campaign’s coffers. The largest contribution, $50 million, came from an anonymous donor and will be used to support molecular- engineering research.

Berkeley officials said $240 million was raised in six months toward the end of the campaign. Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl called the effort “an unprecedented success in American higher education.” He noted that the campaign, as well as yielding the biggest amount of private money ever raised by a public university, had garnered the most money raised by any university without a medical school.

On the same day Berkeley officials announced the success of the fund-raising campaign last month, hundreds of students and faculty members rallied on campus for a return to affirmative action policies.

While increasing student racial and ethnic diversity wasn’t the primary focus of the fund-raising campaign, the drive will increase funding for programs aimed at attracting underrepresented students, said Jose Rodriguez, a university spokesman. “There was an outreach of support that was really remarkable,” he said.

The fund-raising campaign was led by volunteers from the UC Berkeley Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks private support for the campus.

Berkeley officials said money from the private sector is vital during a time when the campus is hoping to upgrade its facilities and state aid provides only 35 percent of the school’s operating funds.

—John Gehring

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A version of this article appeared in the April 04, 2001 edition of Education Week

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