University sets sights on historic philanthropic goal

March 16 / 177

Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis with Chancellor Elizabeth Alexander, Campaign Chair Allan Myers and Professor Ian Anderson at the Campaign milestone celebration
Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis with Chancellor Elizabeth Alexander, Campaign Chair Allan Myers and Professor Ian Anderson at the Campaign milestone celebration

The University of Melbourne has officially passed its Believe campaign target two years ahead of schedule, and has set its sights on completing the largest fundraising campaign in Australian history.

Publicly launched in 2013, Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne aimed to raise $500 million by the end of 2017. Thanks to the generosity of more than 20,000 donors worldwide – including several thousand staff donors – the University has officially passed this mark.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis announced at a recent event that the University has launched a second phase of the campaign, with an aim of raising $1 billion by 2021 and engaging 100,000 alumni in the process.

It will be the largest-ever fundraising commitment for an Australian institution, and the largest public university philanthropic campaign ever conducted in the Asia-Pacific.

The Campaign currently stands at $504 million.

Professor Davis said the University had been overwhelmed by the generosity of its donors, with every gift making a difference to the lives of students and researchers.

“Our intention with the Campaign has always been to change the lives of future generations and thanks to our incredible alumni and donors, the impact has been nothing short of transformative,” he said.

“We’ve been able to provide more than $150 million to educate tomorrow’s leaders, $120 million toward enriching our communities, on top of the more than $230 million raised for ground-breaking research in areas including melanoma and skin cancers, childhood mental health and human rights law.”

The major gifts the University has received include $10 million to establish the Wade Institute for Entrepreneurship, $26 million for the Michael Buxton Centre of Contemporary Art and donations that will create 24 new professorships across the University. 

Professor Davis said the University’s alumni and donor community had been essential to the Campaign’s success.

“This community is at the heart of the University; they are among our greatest ambassadors and have played a vital role in helping Melbourne become Australia’s leading university,” he said.

“Their support, as volunteers and ambassadors, will ensure Melbourne is a university that stands as one of the finest in the world, and an institution that will continue to have a significant impact on ground-breaking research, educational opportunity and enriching public life.

“Our work remains unfinished, however, and our aspiration is to engage 100,000 of our alumni by the end of the Campaign in 2021 as active participants in the life of the University.”

Campaign Chair Allan Myers said this was an opportunity to develop the University for the future.

”As a graduate of this University, I believe those who benefitted from a Melbourne education have the power to create a legacy for future generations,” he said.

“We all live in a world that is tackling serious questions of health, sustainability and innovation and we believe Melbourne has a vital role to play in meeting these challenges. Great strides have been made, but there is more to do.”

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