Princeton University Raises Record $1.88 Billion Through Aspire Campaign

Princeton University’s five-year Aspire campaign exceeded its goal, raising $1.88 billion — a sum school officials say is more than any fundraising campaign in the school’s history.

The funds will support the school’s teaching and research programs, as well as efforts to prepare students from a wide range of backgrounds for leadership, school officials said..

“The success of this collective effort to strengthen the university to better serve the nation and the world is a tribute to the dedication, enthusiasm and generosity of our alumni, parents and friends,” Princeton President Shirley Tilghman said in a written statement. “In countless ways, the Aspire campaign has reinforced our traditional strengths while allowing us to break new ground and prepare to achieve our highest aspirations for the years ahead.”

The campaign targeted various priorities, including providing unrestricted funds through the school’s annual giving program for efforts such as the university’s groundbreaking financial aid program. The funding will enhance the university’s capacities in engineering and the environment, the creative and performing arts, neuroscience, and global citizenship. Donations also established 26 new professorships, 120 new undergraduate scholarships and 25 new graduate fellowships.

More than 65,000 donors, including undergraduate and graduate alumni, parents, corporations and foundations, contributed 271,559  gifts to Aspire since it launched in November of 2007. The campaign ended on June 30.

In the final year of the campaign, annual giving set a new record, raising $57.2 million, with an undergraduate alumni participation rate of 60.8 percent. The campaign was conducted largely through the efforts of volunteers.

Significant funds were raised in all of the university’s priority areas. Achievements include:

– A $101 million gift from Peter B. Lewis, a 1955 alumnus and university trustee, established the Lewis Center for the Arts so that Princeton can expand its offerings for students in the visual arts, music, dance, theater and creative writing. Additional funds were raised for a new program to bring visiting artists to campus and to create new faculty positions.

– A $100 million gift from Gerhard R. Andlinger, a 1952 alumnus, established the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, which focuses on sustainable energy development, conservation and environmental protection.

– The Grand Challenges Initiative, a collaboration among the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and the Princeton Environmental Institute, raised funds to allow faculty and students to work together to develop sustainable energy, combat emerging infectious diseases, and overcome natural resource limitations in developing countries.

– In neuroscience, gifts to the campaign established three major centers of research within the Princeton Neuroscience Institute to better understand the physiology behind human behavior and to discover information that may aid in the battle against neurological disorders.

– Butler College, first constructed in 1964, was rebuilt as a state-of-the-art dormitory complex composed of five new residence halls funded by gifts. Princeton’s athletics program benefited from support for renovated and new facilities, including venues for football, soccer, lacrosse and tennis.