CHAPEL HILL (January 13, 2022) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced Thursday that it had met an ambitious, if not audacious, goal to raise $4.25 billion for the university a year early.
The news was soon followed by an announcement from NC State University that it, too, had met its fundraising goal of $2.1 billion through its five-year Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign.1
Launched in October 2017, the Campaign for Carolina aimed to raise $4.25 billion by the end of 2022. Reaching the goal makes Carolina the eighth public university to surpass $4 billion in a single campaign, and the only university in South to surpass $4.25 billion.2
The campaign faced serious challenges: Multiple controversies, including removal of the Silent Sam Confederate monument; departure of one chancellor, followed by the uncertainties that accompanied a search and transition to another; and a global pandemic that stifled in-person meetings and precipitated a recession – but also a recovery.
“We’re humbled and incredibly thankful for all the generous donors and volunteers who’ve brought us to this point,” Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said as he announced the milestone.
The campaign still has one goal it hasn’t yet met, Guskiewicz said: $1 billion for student support, including scholarships for undergraduates and scholarships and fellowships for graduate and professional students.
The scholarships include the groundbreaking Carolina Covenant, which guarantees that students from low-income families will graduate without debt, and middle-income scholarships through the Blue Sky Scholars. As of Jan. 1, the campaign had raised $810 million for student support.
“A lot has changed since the campaign began, but our commitment to student access and affordability has not,” Guskiewicz said. “We are committed to raising $1 billion to support our students – they represent the heart of our mission and the hope for our future.”
The university said more than 200,000 donors have contributed to the campaign, including more than 90,000 first-time donors. It has received 67 gifts of $10 million or more, but 83% of donors have contributed $1,000 or less.
“The broad support of this campaign shows how deeply people care about the mission of our University,” said David Routh, Vice Chancellor of Development. “We are incredibly grateful for each and every gift.”
Some pledges will pay out over time and others will be made through deferred giving such as bequests, officials said, so the full effect of the campaign will play out over decades. Among neighboring Triangle institutions, Duke University concluded a $3.85 billion campaign in 2016 and NC State University raised more than $2 billion in its “Think and Do the Extraordinary” campaign, which ended last year.3
“Our donors and the people of North Carolina have invested generously in the future of this University,” said Routh. “Their commitment ensures that Carolina will continue to serve as a leading center of discovery, education and service to improve lives throughout our state and the world.”