Carnegie Mellon University

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March 02, 2012

"Let's See How Far We Can Go"

By Piper Staff

With 16 months still to go in Carnegie Mellon's Inspire Innovation campaign, CMU has crossed the $1 billion milestone. But the campaign is not over yet.

"The success of Inspire Innovation is a testament to the loyalty and generosity of our alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students and friends," said University President Jared L. Cohon. "They believe in us deeply, and they've demonstrated it through their support of the campaign."

Cohon sent an email to the university community in mid-February to share the news.

"Reaching this milestone early is impressive, especially when you consider that the public launch of the campaign in October 2008 coincided with the beginning of one of the worst global economic recessions in history," Cohon said. "Our accomplishment is a testament to the university's rising reputation, increasing global visibility and the loyalty of alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students, friends, corporations and foundations that have given Carnegie Mellon their support. They find our vision and objectives compelling. They believe in us, our university, and know they are investing in a place that impacts the world."

Despite the economic climate, more than 44,500 donors have made a gift to the university
so far during Inspire Innovation.

Increased engagement by alumni, parents and friends, as well as students, faculty and staff also has been a focus of the campaign.

"We've seen alumni embrace the concept of alma mater through their active participation in events and activities," Cohon wrote. "The number of our alumni chapters has grown to 73, including 23 international chapters."

The impact of the campaign is already being felt on campus. Two donors have stepped forward to provide naming gifts to two of CMU's seven schools - the David A. Tepper School of Business and the Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences - and a third donor supported the transformation of the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management to the H. John Heinz III College. Twenty-four endowed professorships, 73 endowed graduate student fellowships and 190 endowed undergraduate scholarships have been created thus far.

President Cohon also noted that the campaign has raised support for key academic areas such as energy and the environment, and brain science, and it has helped to improve the Pittsburgh campus. Capital funds were raised for the Gates Center for Computer Science, the Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies, the Kraus Campo, renovations to laboratories in Doherty Hall and other facility improvements.

"This is a great day for the Carnegie Mellon community," said Campaign Chair Edward H. Frank (S'85), a life trustee and parent of a 2006 graduate. "As an alumnus and a parent, it is especially gratifying to see so many people contribute to our success. Of course, there is still more work to be done as we look to expand support for our students and faculty and attract the best minds to our university. Our strategy includes ongoing
philanthropy and working hard to contain costs."

"While crossing the $1 billion mark is significant, and it does help the university on its current trajectory of excellence, it does not insulate us entirely from the operating costs of successfully preparing our students for today's global workplace," Cohon wrote. "That is why we will continue to press on in true Carnegie Mellon fashion through June 2013, and why it's not too late for anyone to become part of our campaign's success."

Cohon said more resources are greatly needed for student financial aid, to recruit and retain award-winning faculty, to support emerging research opportunities and for new facilities.

CMU's 2012 master plan includes a new bio-energy and nanotechnology building, which will house the Biomedical Engineering Department and the Energy Futures Institute; a new home for the Tepper School on the current Morewood parking lot site; renovations to Skibo Gym; and an addition that will house a new fitness area in the University Center.

"Together, let's see how far we can go from here," Cohon wrote.