Virginia Tech President Charles Steger today announced a $1 billion fundraising goal for The Campaign for Virginia Tech: Invent the Future.

The announcement marks a new era in private fundraising for the state’s most comprehensive research university. Virginia Tech’s previous campaign, concluded in October 1998, raised $337 million.

Steger’s announcement regarding The Campaign for Virginia Tech: Invent the Future came during a black-tie ceremony to launch the public phase of the campaign. More than 700 people attended the event in a 26,000 square foot tent outside the Holtzman Alumni Center on Virginia Tech’s main campus.

While the public phase of the campaign has just begun, groundwork for the enterprise was laid starting in July 2003. During the campaign’s so called “quiet phase,” more than $550 million was committed.

Former Goldman Sachs International Chairman Gene Fife ’62 chaired the steering committee for the highly encouraging quiet phase of the campaign. The co-chairs of the National Campaign Steering Committee for the public phase are Dave Calhoun ‘79, chairman and CEO of the Nielsen Company, and John Lawson ’75, president and CEO of W. M. Jordan Company, one of the Southeast’s largest building contractors.

The campaign launch was emceed by Hoda Kotb ’86, of NBC’s “Today”, “Dateline NBC” and “Your Total Health” programs, alongside the “Voice of the Hokies,” announcer Bill Roth.

Steger highlighted five priorities for the campaign and mentioned ways in which donations targeted to each priority would benefit students, improve research capacity or extend the university’s positive influence on the community. A summary of the priorities:

  • Academic Excellence: Create and sustain endowed chairs and professorships, as well as fellowships, to attract and retain world-class faculty.
  • Undergraduate Experience: Address the growing gap between tuition and the actual cost of a university education through both need-based and merit scholarships. Enrich the lives of undergraduates with additional study abroad options and diversity initiatives. Honor the longstanding traditions of the Corps of Cadets and athletic programs.
  • Research Facilities: Finance construction of leading edge facilities and renovations of existing facilities across a wide range of disciplines.
  • Virginia Tech and the Community: Construct a distinctive fine and performing arts center. Continue efforts to preserve and enhance campus, while continuing to reach beyond campus in outreach and extension initiatives.
  • President’s Discovery Fund: Continue to endow this fund to allow the university to seize opportunities and take full advantage of unbudgeted and unanticipated circumstances.

The campaign was originally scheduled to launch in April but was postponed after the tragic events of that month. The kickoff ceremony began with a moment of silence for the victims.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.


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