Admins plan for day after ‘Tomorrow’

After five years and $3.885 billion raised, Yale’s top administrators and strongest financial supporters will gather Sept. 17 to celebrate the end of the Yale Tomorrow campaign.

Yale Tomorrow, the University’s most recent fundraising drive, concluded this summer with the biggest year of donations in the University’s history: Yale brought in $862 million in new gifts and commitments for the fiscal year ending July 1, said Inge Reichenbach, vice president for development. With the campaign finished, the Office of Development has shifted into planning for a day of Yale-focused events and entertainment to thank its most significant donors.

“As a principle, the point of doing this is to thank people…and remind people of all the great things that are happening here,” Levin said. “If that continues to keep them interested in the University, that’s very much in the University’s advantage.”

A surge of gifts in the final months of the campaign drove Yale to the top of the Ivy Plus ranking, a list of its peer schools, for donations in fiscal year 2011 by “a significant margin,” Reichenbach said. March, May and June were the campaigns strongest months and brought in nearly $500 million of the year’s total receipts, she said.

Wrap-up celebrations like the one that will occur this month are typical following the end of an extended fundraising drive, said Rae Goldsmith, vice president of advancement resources for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. They primarily serve to thank donors, she said, but also help keep donors connected to a school after its campaign ends.

“The celebration at the conclusion of a successful campaign is important because the campaign is a community effort,” Goldsmith said. “It [also] positions the institution well with the donor the next time it might have a campaign or approach the donor.”

Many donors who gave to the campaign will not be present. Because of the number of givers, only those who donated a minimum of $100,000 and the most significant campaign volunteers, among them the campaign committee and Yale Alumni Fund chairs, received an invitation to the weekend, Reichenbach said.

The celebration will last the entirety of September 17, with lectures and discussions led by deans and professors from each of the divisions of the University that the campaign aimed to support: Yale College, the arts, the sciences and Yale’s international efforts. Yale College Dean Mary Miller will lead a discussion among undergraduates about life in Yale College for the donors to attend, and the University will provide tours of the most recently renovated buildings, such as Ingalls Rink and Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges.

In addition to speeches from Levin and Yale Corporation Senior Fellow Ed Bass ’67 at a dinner in Commons, the University has asked historian and author David McCullough ’55 to deliver the keynote address, entitled “Yale and the American Adventure.” McCullough, who also delivered the keynote speech at the campaign launch in 2006, will deliver the new speech over a lunch on Old Campus. The speech will be thematically similar to McCullough’s latest book, “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris,” but focusing on Yale, Reichenbach said.

“He did a lot of research for this talk,” she said. “His enthusiasm [for it] is really infectious.”

Yale’s previous campaign ended in 1997, having raised $1.7 billion.

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