STORY BY CLARE VANECHAUTE
The fundraising campaign distinctlyDrake has successfully raised its goal amount of money five months before its end, according to John Smith, vice president of alumni and development.
Publicly launched in October of 2010, this campaign proposed to raise $200 million by June 30, 2015, making this Drake’s biggest fundraising initiative in its history.
Now at an amount of over $201 million and with the campaign’s end in sight, Smith said that the program is still in full swing.
“We will not relax and become complacent as the last five months come up,” Smith said.
Smith oversaw the vast majority of this history-making campaign and handled the twists and turns of the campaign as it became inclusive of new projects.
For example, the recently constructed basketball practice facility was constructed through funding from distinctlyDrake, although it was not initially proposed when the campaign was launched.
“We had to be responsive and flexible to changes,” Smith said. “Campaigns run over a specific period of time,” Smith continued. “And when effectively managed, university fundraising campaigns reflect the universities existing strategic plans.”
The money will be allocated to a variety of different programs and projects including scholarships and faculty support.
The most notable project that will benefit from this campaign is the STEM initiative, a $65 million proposal to strengthen the programs and to create and renovate buildings for Drake’s departments of science, technology, education, math and health sciences.
“From the very beginning we always knew that revenue would be going toward the science departments,” Smith said.
Tom Delahunt, vice president of admissions and student financial planning, is enthusiastic about the funds that will go toward the creation of 175 new scholarship funds for incoming and returning students.
Delahunt hopes that this money will benefit students who have suffered financial difficulties since attending Drake.
“We want to help students who’ve had a parent lose a job or get sick,” Delahunt said. “We are looking to help the students that we have.”
The 175 scholarship funds represent an approximate amount of $46 million geared toward the financial aid of current students.
“We make a promise to students, and students make a promise to us,” Delahunt said. “This is going to sound cheesy, but once you are a part of the family, we want to stay a part of the family.”
Other projects where the effects of this historical campaign can be seen in the creation of the student archives, the establishment of the Harkin Institute and the acquisition of Senator Harkin’s papers, Smith said.
Thirty-six million was set aside for the enhancement of teaching and learning, according to distinctlyDrake’s homepage. This will also help create larger endowments for faculty positions.
Ann Samuelson, sophomore math and computer science double major, is excited by the incoming improvements to her major.
“We were in Howard Hall for a lot of our classes before,” Samuelson said. “It will be nice to have a building entirely devoted to what I am studying.”