Admins consider priorities post-Tomorrow

Following the record-breaking conclusion of the Yale Tomorrow fundraising campaign this June, administrators are writing a new “wish list” to bring to future donors.

The Office of Development has been working with the President and Provost’s Offices to determine new fundraising priorities in the aftermath of the University’s five-year, $3.88 billion drive for donations. Under the direction of Provost Peter Salovey and University President Richard Levin, new priorities from Yale’s different schools will be added to those projects left over from Yale Tomorrow — such as construction of the new residential colleges and growth of Yale’s West Campus. The Office of Development is already raising funds for established priorities through their website called “Giving to Yale,” which shows potential benefactors the minimum price for attaching their names to projects.

“One of the great things about a fundraising campaign is that it requires the University to define its priorities,” Vice President for Development Inge Reichenbach said. “Even when a big campaign ends, you want to start the cycle over and begin redefining your goals.”

The deans of Yale’s different schools have already determined a preliminary University-wide “wish list” that features the desired amounts of funds for each school, Reichenbach said, but she declined to comment on specific projects.

“Usually, [the preliminary list] turns out to be more than our fundraising is [capable of],” she said. “So there needs to be discussion between the provosts and deans to come up with a final list.”

Salovey said the process of defining new fundraising priorities began by determining which unfulfilled campaign goals still remain important to the University. For example, the School of Drama still needs new facilities and fell short of its Yale Tomorrow goal, Salovey said.

The new residential colleges — which will cost an estimated $500 million but have only received $180 million in donations — also remain a priority, Reichenbach said. Reichenbach added that the colleges were announced midway through the campaign, so she was not surprised that the campaign did not raise all of the new colleges’ goal.

Once the Office of Development tells the Provost’s Office how much money it expects to raise, Salovey and his staff will “put price tags” on each project and consult with the deans again, Salovey said. The Provost’s Office and the deans will then reach a tentative plan to present to Levin. With approval from both the President and Provost’s Offices, members of the Office of Development will begin contacting potential donors for the new projects.

Reichenbach has told the News in the past that fundraising levels grow during a campaign and remain high even after it ends.

Though the campaign has ended, Reichenbach said there are several individuals who had expressed interest in donating to Yale but did contribute to the campaign. These potential donors will be contacted again once the new priorities were set, she said.

One way that Yale is reaching out to new donors is through a website called “Giving to Yale,” which is run by the Office of Development and offers to attach donors’ names to projects they support. Priorities on the website include the new residential colleges and West Campus and will eventually also include the new priorities set by the President and Provost’s Offices. The site sets the price for naming a project at 50 percent of the expected total cost of the undertaking. The prices listed range from $150,000 to name a student suite in the new colleges to $500 million to name West Campus. Reichenbach said many universities have begun using similar websites to show potential donors the different giving options.

Yale historian Gaddis Smith ’51 GRD ’54 said that there is a long history of naming projects at Yale after donors, starting with the gift from Elihu Yale in 1718 that named the school. Smith added that he found the idea of naming of projects smaller than entire buildings amusing.

“I wait to see plaques on chairs in lecture rooms,” he quipped. “And think of all the bathrooms that might be named. I would suggest $100,000 for each toilet.”

The Yale Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, decided in 2008 that two new residential colleges will not be named after donors.

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