The For All Bicentennial Campaign: Celebrating Progress, Setting Bold Goals for Indiana University’s Future

For All Campaign Celebration
Wright Quad Cafeteria
Bloomington, IN

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Thank you very much Dan (Smith).

Here in the Wright Quad Residence Hall, nearly 200 years of the history of Indiana University gaze down upon us from these magnificent murals. In them are portrayed many of the great figures of the university from over the centuries, its iconic buildings, symbols of social change, and representations of its twin fundamental missions—the education it provides to millions and the world-changing research it pursues. These murals serve as stately and imposing reminders of Indiana University’s growth over nearly two centuries into one of the great public research universities of the world, one that offers the promise of a better life for all who enter its gates.

And in our ability to fulfill this promise, philanthropic support has been vital.

We are now approximately 70 months into the historic For All Campaign. It is IU’s first university-wide campaign. All campuses are involved. And, with its bold goal of $2.5 billion, it is also our most ambitious campaign ever, dwarfing the goal of $1 billion for the last campaign. It is also one of the most ambitious ever by any public university anywhere in the country.

The response to this Campaign has been overwhelming. The whole IU community across the state, the nation, and around the world has embraced this vital moment in our history to contribute as never before. More than 270,000 alumni, friends, and organizations have generously and selflessly supported the Campaign. More will do so by the time it is finished.

And we have seen the very real manifestation of this through four consecutive years of record philanthropic support for IU.

Tonight, we have gathered to celebrate this extraordinary support and the success of the Campaign so far. And we are also gathered to thank all those who have made it such a success. And celebrate we should, because I am delighted to announce tonight that the For All Campaign has now surpassed the $2 billion mark!

In fact, as of the end of last month, the total was over two billion and 55 million dollars. The Campaign is less than three-quarters complete, and we have already achieved 82 percent of our fundraising goal—a remarkable ten percent ahead of schedule!

This extraordinary total includes over 3,500 new endowed undergraduate and graduate scholarships and fellowships—a 27 percent increase in five years over the previous nearly 100 years. And it includes 147 new endowed chairs and professorships—a 33 percent increase in five years over the previous period. But what do these extraordinary numbers mean? Put very simply they mean that some of the very best faculty in the world can be recruited and retained. And they mean that students from low income and minority backgrounds who could not otherwise have afforded to pursue a degree now have the opportunity to come to IU.

There are hundreds and thousands to thank—too many to name. But I do want to recognize some for their superlative efforts.

Let me start with the President of the Foundation, Dan Smith, who has been unremitting in pursuit of this goal. Dan, please stand for our recognition.

And behind Dan stand the supremely competent men and women of the IU Foundation—over 200 strong—who have provided the core of the university’s philanthropic efforts. Would all members of the IU Foundation staff please stand for our recognition?

But ultimately, the Foundation can only work as part of a much larger team with the deans of all the schools, their development staff, and the chancellors of all the campuses and their development staff, for it is on the campuses and in the schools that the life-long attachments to IU happen. So, will all deans, their development staffs, and all chancellors and their development staffs please stand for our recognition as well.

And finally, there are all of you who are here tonight: the generous and selfless supporters of your alma mater or of the university you love and respect. For you are part of that even wider 270,000 strong world-wide IU community who have supported the Campaign so far. And to all of you the university is truly eternally grateful. So, everyone in the room—and, Ms. (Glenn) Close, that includes you—please stand to give yourselves and everyone around you an enormous round of applause!

But can we do more? The campaign’s momentum is prodigious. It is far ahead of schedule. The university community is engaged and galvanized as never before. And everywhere is the ever-deepening understanding of the profound impact of philanthropy. And the Campaign will not be slowly winding down as we reach our Bicentennial year in a mere 20 months. No. Our efforts will be re-doubled and they will intensify as we reach this great and memorable milestone in IU’s history.

Hence, the incredible success of the Campaign gives us a unique and unrepeatable opportunity to have an impact on the future of IU that will be felt and will resound through the whole of the next century of its existence.

So tonight, I am pleased to announce that the goal of the For All Campaign is being increased to $3 billion!

And let us not waste a single day of the Bicentennial in seeking support for IU. So, I am also pleased to announce that we will continue the campaign for an additional six months, through the end of June 2020, to correspond with our planned year-long celebration of IU’s Bicentennial during the 2019-2020 academic year.

IU’s Bicentennial will be a time that will never happen again. Extending the campaign through the entirety of the Bicentennial year and increasing the goal takes full advantage of every day of this unique opportunity. It will enable all members of the IU family, world-wide, to do all they can, to stretch every sinew in support of IU into its next century of existence as one of the world’s greatest universities.

In extending the campaign we will adopt as special goals:

  • Attracting even more gifts for scholarships to expand even further our extremely successful efforts to keep an IU education affordable and accessible for all citizens of the state. We will do this through a new scholarship endowment fund to be known as “The Indiana University Advantage” that will provide scholarships that will cover the direct costs of attendance at IU for qualified students from low income Indiana families. This fund will enable students of limited means to earn educations that will change lives, and provide them with opportunities previously unavailable to them.
  • Attracting additional endowed chairs and professorships to strengthen yet further IU’s research excellence.
  • Attracting support for IU’s enormous and extensive initiatives in the health sciences such as our new Grand Challenge program on fighting the scourge of opioid addiction in the State, and IU and IU Health’s new Regional Academic Health Center right here in Bloomington.

I mentioned earlier the splendid murals that surround us tonight. They depict Indiana University’s rich history and heritage and remind us that IU is the perfect place to contemplate life’s greatest questions and mysteries.

The murals here in Wright Quad, painted by artists Garo Antreasian and Mark Flickinger, depict the history of the campus only through the late 1990s. I am very pleased to announce tonight that a new mural will be commissioned for Wright Quad that will depict major events and figures in the history of the campus from 1999 to the present. Painting faculty and students in IU’s School of Art, Architecture + Design will undertake this project.

These murals reflect IU’s commitment to art as a public trust—a commitment that extends beyond the walls of our museums to the indoor and outdoor public spaces of our campuses around the state, where works of art become integrated into the lives of members of the university community. In these public spaces, sculptures, paintings, and other works of art not only beautify our campuses, but they also remind us of our shared history and inspire reflection.

And so, a further goal of the extended Campaign will be to build on and enhance the public art and the environment of IU’s campuses so that they foster excellence in all things and are magnets for the best and most deserving students. As part of this, as befits a Bicentennial, we will also seek to raise funds for the establishment of a Museum of Indiana University, which I announced in my recent State of the University Address.

So, there is much to celebrate tonight. But we cannot rest on our laurels. With a new goal of $3 billion, we must redouble and triple our efforts. Reaching this highly ambitious new goal will require a concerted effort among the university, all campuses, all schools, the IU Foundation, and IU’s alumni, donors and friends around the state, nation and world. But if IU is to remain and grow further as one of the great public research universities of the world, we must be up to the challenge; we must succeed.

And as we reflect on all those in the murals around us, we remember that they were up to the challenge; they succeeded. We are here tonight because of them. We are here tonight because of their success and because of all they did, no matter how hard, no matter how demanding, no matter the risk involved. We must not let them down!

Now, let me ask all of tonight’s speakers to please join me on the stage, and I invite all of you to join in as the Pep Band leads us in the IU Fight Song. Thank you again for joining us tonight.