Campaign aims to raise $250 million

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    Correction: As of March 31, when the public phase of the university fundraising campaign started, the campaign had raised $155 million, or 62 percent of the goal amount.

    Bob Schieffer can soon add rock star to his resume after he performs with his band “Honky Tonk Confidential” during the launch of The Campaign for TCU on Thursday.

    Schieffer, moderator of CBS’ “Face the Nation,” and other donors are contributing to The Campaign for TCU, a fundraising event expected to raise $250 million by 2012 to support a wide variety of efforts, such as increasing scholarship support, strengthening academic programs and continuing to increase endowment, Chancellor Victor Boschini said.

    “The campaign means more stability for the school in the long run,” Boschini said. “It also means a more predictable budget in the future if it raises more money for the endowment, which it will.”

    Boschini said the campaign is the biggest in TCU’s history and has raised about $157 million halfway through the fundraising.

    This year, it assisted in offsetting the 8 percent tuition increase by raising financial aid by 18 percent, and the money raised for scholarships also helps offset any future tuition hikes, Boschini said.

    Donald Whelan Jr., vice chancellor for University Advancement, said it was important to have half the campaign goal secured before beginning the public phase.

    Before the public phase, the university went through a “leadership gift phase,” he said. During this time, the university talked with close friends, trustees and people who may make leadership gifts to the campaign, and this campaign secured more than 14,000 donors, he said.

    “Our goal at the end of the campaign is to have strengthened the university across the board,” Whelan said. “Along the way of doing that, we’ll certainly enhance our reputation.”

    Justin Brown, a junior political science major, said this week students will see many prominent alumni, such as Schieffer.

    Brown, Student Government Association Student Relations Committee chair, said the campaign is a time for TCU to highlight itself and show it is a worthwhile investment.

    Boschini said the campaign was mandated by the Board of Trustees and will help pay for the four new residence halls in the center of campus by repaying bonds taken out by the university.

    Whelan said the campaign will also contribute to sustaining a vibrant living community by improving the Greek area, the campus commons and athletic facilities.

    “It will go toward anything that will improve student life on campus,” he said.

    Whelan said Schieffer will be the masters of ceremony of the event, which is expected to have more than 800 people present including alumni, parents, foundation representatives and friends. The program will begin in Ed Landreth Auditorium with an introduction of specifics about The Campaign for TCU, such as how the money raised will be dispersed.

    The remainder of the launching event will be located at a tent in the center of campus where Schieffer’s band will perform, Whelan said.

    “We will reach the goal because we’re already so far ahead,” he said. “We would not be starting the public phase right now if we weren’t 100 percent confident that we are going to surpass our $250 million goal.”