ShareThis Page
News

Gifts, pledges to Pitt exceed $1.5 billion

| Friday, Sept. 10, 2010

The University of Pittsburgh has collected more than $1.5 billion in gifts and pledges since 1996, and remains on track to hit its $2 billion goal, officials announced Thursday.

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg touted the "Building Our Future Together" campaign as the largest and most successful in Western Pennsylvania, beginning with a $500 million goal and increasing to $1 billion in 2002 and $2 billion in 2006.

"The trustees thought things were going so well, so they doubled the (original) goal to $1 billion. Then we got the same results, so they doubled it again," said Albert Novak, Jr., vice chancellor for institutional advancement.

Pitt has used the money to fund 458 new scholarships, 39 faculty fellowships, and 672 endowment programs for supporting research projects, travel, book purchases and more. Some went toward $1.14 billion in construction that added or renovated more than 2 million square feet of space.

More than 158,000 people have contributed to the campaign, including 275 who committed $1 million or more, officials said.

Since 2006, the campaign has made raising money for scholarships a priority, Novak said. The amount raised for scholarships went from $5.5 million in 1998 to $22 million in 2007.

After a slight drop in 2009 that Novak attributed to the faltering economy, fiscal year 2010 ended with $20.5 million collected toward scholarship endowments.

"When we first started out, a lot of our support was from Western Pennsylvania-based foundations," he said. "Part of it is the maturing of our campaign and outreach efforts. ... Over time, we've had more individuals step up to support us."

Novak said he couldn't say when the $2 billion goal might be met, because that could depend on how the economy and charitable giving recover. Once the fund reaches $2 billion, the university will wind down the campaign and start planning the next one, he said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me