Funding campaign begins public portion in style

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    Check out Thursday’s coverage of the Schieffer Symposium

    One hundred fifty-five million dollars down, $95 million to go.

    The Campaign for TCU kicked off the public portion of its fundraising effort Thursday night with a presentation in Ed Landreth Auditorium followed by a reception on the lawn between the Brown-Lupton Student Center and the unfinished Brown-Lupton University Union.

    Chancellor Victor Boschini said the goal of the evening was two-fold.

    “We wanted to thank our current donors and encourage some new donors to pitch in,” Boschini said.

    Don Whelan, vice chancellor for university advancement, said the overall fundraising goal for the campaign is $250 million.

    “Currently we’ve raised $155 million,” Whelan said. “We’re not quite halfway through the campaign.”

    Whelan said the total fundraising figure was reached after assessing TCU’s potential needs and looking at the university’s fundraising history.

    See photos from the event

    “Knowing what we know now, we feel we have the ability to raise $250 million,” Whelan said. “Our potential needs are higher than that, so we really had to narrow it down to our core set of priorities.”

    Whelan said one priority of the fundraising, which is expected to finish in four to five years, is to provide more scholarship money for students. However, Whelan said he thinks it won’t take that long.

    “There’s so much momentum in general at TCU right now,” Whelan said. “So many people want to invest in the university’s future. I think we will exceed the $250 million mark in three to four years.”

    Matt Rose, CEO of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and campaign chairman, said contributions have been higher than the campaign committee anticipated.

    “With any fundraising campaign you hope to make 50 percent of your total goal during the leadership phase,” Rose said. “We have surpassed this at the start of our public campaign.”

    Rose said he thought locating the reception between the Student Center and University Union was fitting.

    “I think it is very symbolic of where TCU is at right now,” Rose said. “We recognize our past, but we are looking forward.”

    Boschini said he was pleased with the turnout for the evening. He said he was hoping the event would attract 600 people but more than 900 ended up attending.

    “One of the things we realized from this campaign is the love all over our country for TCU,” Boschini said.