Images of the doors of Georgetown’s iconic buildings have become omnipresent on campus in the past few weeks due to the kickoff of the University’s capital campaign, “For Generations to Come: The Campaign for Georgetown.” They have supplanted the blue “Spirit of Georgetown” banners typically bound to the light poles and mounted on the face of the Intercultural Center building. It’s hard to walk anywhere on campus without seeing something about it.
The 10-year campaign has an ambitious, but achievable, goal of raising $1.5 billion by 2016. Since it began with its quiet phase in July 2006, the initiative hit its halfway point prior to the festivities of the formal kickoff this past weekend.
With a capital campaign comes the inevitable task of asking everyone—including current students and parents—to contribute to the campaign in addition to paying for tuition. Undoubtedly students and parents will dread this. No one wants to be asked for more money on top of the already high cost of tuition to attend Georgetown.
But is this campaign worth it? Absolutely.
The University—like many other Catholic colleges and universities across the nation—only began major fundraising in the 1970s. This, among several other factors, has put Georgetown behind its peers in terms of our endowment, which hovers around $1 billion. The Campaign for Georgetown will help to increase the University’s paltry endowment, an essential factor for continuing to have a quality institution. Having an endowment is a key way for a university to ensure its continued financial stability.
The endowment is not the only aspect that the campaign will help. The campaign also seeks to expand the amount of scholarships that the University can offer.
Offering more need-based scholarships allows for the University to continue attracting the best and brightest students from around the country, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Not only will this create more diversity in our community, but it will also allow our University community to expand to places where it currently has little presence.
The campaign also plans to allocate $500 million toward faculty and research. This is a crucial element of the plan, and any student should be able to realize its importance. The esteemed faculty at Georgetown certainly played a role in the decision to come here for many students. Continuing Georgetown’s tradition of having excellent professors will allow for the University to thrive in to the future.
While it may be easy for us, as students, to pass this off as something not for us to be concerned with, that’s a silly attitude to have. Even if we do not realize it, every single student on this campus is affected in one way or another by the money raised by the Campaign for Georgetown, whether it is from the $1 million given by Board of Directors Chairman Paul Tagliabue (COL ’62) for an LGBTQ student life initiative, the $5 million given to further support the Berkley Center, or the countless donations to further Georgetown athletics. No student is left unaffected by this campaign.
It may get annoying receiving countless Phonathon calls and letters from the Office of Advancement about the Campaign for Georgetown, but the long-term effects of this endeavor make the campaign entirely worth it. Supporting this campaign will truly allow us to preserve and improve our alma mater for generations to come.
Let Geoffrey know what you think about the University’s growing endowment at firstname.lastname@example.org