Baylor University has joined an elite group of American universities that have raised more than $1 billion in a single fundraising campaign.
The Waco, Texas, school announced May 13 that a $7 million gift to fund a basketball pavilion put the total for its Give Light campaign over the $1 billion mark, the largest amount of money the Baptist school ever has raised in a campaign.
The new pavilion, which will be home to the university’s top-ranked men’s and women’s basketball programs, is a priority capital project within the $1.1 billion campaign, which also aims to create endowment and infrastructure to support Baylor’s aspirations of becoming a top-tier research university.
What less than a decade ago would have seemed an unthinkable amount for any university to raise in a single campaign now has become an accepted reality in higher education. According to Philanthropy News Digest, Stanford University was the first to complete a billion-dollar campaign in 2013, which was followed by a $4.3 billion campaign. Cornell, Columbia, Yale and the University of Virginia all were early adopters of billion-dollar fundraising drives. In 2016, the University of Southern California raised more than $6 billion in a single campaign.
Now other schools like Baylor are joining this elite group. Baylor’s rival in Fort Worth, Texas Christian University, also is working on a $1 billion campaign.
Baylor said more than 77,000 alumni, parents, friends and staff have given to support university priorities through the Give Light campaign. Donors have created more than 169 endowed funds to support everything from research and instruction to academic program support and resources to preserve university traditions.
Give Light also has created 30 endowed faculty positions, many of which have been funded through a matching-gift challenge of $100 million. More than 580 scholarship funds have been created since the campaign’s beginning.