Levin fundraises in Europe this week

With less than six months left in Yale’s five-year campaign to raise $3.5 billion, University President Richard Levin is looking far beyond New Haven for additional funds.

As he has done for over a decade, Levin traveled last night to Davos, Switzerland to attend the 41st annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a high-profile conference on global affairs for political, business and academic leaders. Levin said he aims to promote the University and network with friends and alumni at the forum and during a brief visit to Paris, France this weekend. While in Europe, Levin also plans to meet with potential donors to the Yale Tomorrow campaign, he said, which ends this summer.

“Since it’s the last year of our campaign, there’s a little more fundraising activity going on than normal,” Levin said in an interview before departing Monday night.

After attending the conference in Davos, Levin will travel Sunday to Paris where he will attend a dinner hosted by Charles Rivkin ’84, the United States ambassador to France. The event, which will be held in Levin’s honor, will include “a great group of alumni, current parents and friends from all over Europe,” Vice President for Development Inge Reichenbach said in an e-mail Tuesday. While in Paris, Levin will also attend a brunch with members of the local Yale Club and will meet individually with potential donors in the area, Reichenbach said.

Reichenbach, who is also currently in Europe visiting with “alumni and friends [of the University]” in Geneva, Switzerland and London, England, will join Levin in Paris Sunday. Levin has regularly dedicated one or two days of his winter trip to Europe each year to meeting with donors, she said in a Tuesday e-mail, but she added that the imminent end of the Yale Tomorrow campaign has increased pressure on the Office of Development. If a proposal is already pending with a donor, she said, a meeting with Levin and the donor can help to “move the decision forward.”

“So the meetings have a heightened sense of urgency because of the Campaign deadline,” Reichenbach said in the e-mail. “But we have been fortunate to have President Levin’s time on a regular basis here in Europe.”

The Yale Tomorrow campaign to fund capital construction, financial aid and a variety of University initiatives originally targeted a goal of $3 billion, but the Yale Corporation authorized a $500 million increase in the goal just before the economic downturn in 2008. The campaign would have reached the original goal of $3 billion a year early, Provost Peter Salovey told the News in a November interview. Recent gifts included in the campaign include a $50 million gift to the Yale School of Management in December that will help construct the school’s new campus.

While in Davos, Levin said he will also network with the leaders of other world universities. Levin chairs the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF), a group of about 25 major research universites that will meet on Friday to discuss topics ranging from international activities to environmental sustainability programs, Levin said. As part of a panel of university internationalization that day, Levin said the head of the National University of Singapore will make a presentation about NUS and Yale’s proposed joint college in Singapore.

In order to promote the University abroad, Levin says he also hopes to have interviews with members of the press from around the world.

The World Economic Forum was first established in 1971.

Comments