• The Prothro Center, which opened this spring, is one of several new buildings on campus that have been funded through cont...
    The Prothro Center, which opened this spring, is one of several new buildings on campus that have been funded through contributions to the "Thinking Ahead" Campaign. (Photo by Lucas Adams)

Southwestern’s Thinking Ahead fundraising campaign has received more than $100 million in gifts and pledges – the first time in the university’s history that more than $100 million has been raised during a fundraising campaign.   

“It is a compliment to this University, our faculty and students, that our alumni, parents and friends would contribute such resources to help us accomplish our mission,” said President Jake B. Schrum. “Their generosity is especially meaningful when we consider the economic challenges our nation and the world experienced during the past seven years.” 

Southwestern officials began the “quiet phase” of Thinking Ahead: The Southwestern Campaign on July 1, 2002, and the campaign was publicly launched on March 31, 2006 with an original goal of $125 million to fund priorities in the university’s 2010 Strategic Plan. These initiatives fall into four broad categories - supporting students, supporting faculty, diversity enrichment, and enhancing the living/learning environment on campus

President Schrum said the funds raised so far have enabled Southwestern to:

  • Add 18 tenure-track faculty positions
  • Launch the Paideia Program, which promotes connections between academic courses, offers intercultural and diversity experiences, encourages civic engagement, and supports collaborative or guided research and creative works. 
  • Create an Office of Civic Engagement
  • Expand scholarship programs such as the Brown Scholars Program and the Dixon Scholarship Program.
  • Provide additional need- and merit-based scholarships
  • Construct several new buildings, including the 66-bed Dorothy Manning Lord Student Residential Center, the Wilhelmina Cullen Admission Center and the Charles & Elizabeth Prothro Center for Lifelong Learning
  • Renovate additional buildings such as the Fine Arts Center, Herman Brown Hall and Moody-Shearn Hall. 

He noted that $7.6 million of the gifts have been received in the form of deferred estate commitments, which will sustain many of these initiatives in the future.

Thinking Ahead: The Southwestern Campaign was scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2010, but university officials are considering extending the campaign to cover additional priorities that have been identified as a result of the planning for the university’s next strategic plan, which will cover 2010-2020.

Southwestern University’s last major fundraising campaign, Leadership 2000: The Southwestern Campaign, ended in 1998 and raised $92.5 million.

For more information on the Thinking Ahead campaign, click here.