SOM broadens fundraising priorities

Though the School of Management is roughly $25 million short of fully financing its new campus, slated to open in January 2014, administrators have broadened the school’s fundraising priorities under the leadership of SOM Dean Edward Snyder.

The 2011 departure of Sharon Oster, Snyder’s predecessor, coincided with the end of a University-wide five-year campaign that raised money for Edward P. Evans Hall, the new campus, and Snyder said he has expanded the school’s fundraising objectives since the campaign ended. A proven fundraiser, Snyder — who brought in a $300 million donation, the largest in U.S. business school history, while dean of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business — has raised several gifts of over $1 million since his arrival at the SOM in July 2011. While he said he will continue to prioritize fundraising for the new campus, he added that the SOM is turning its sights to fundraising for other initiatives.

“In addition to working together [with Dean Snyder] to secure funds for the new SOM campus, we’re also collaborating to raise funds for other SOM needs, including support of financial aid, research and teaching support and other priorities the dean identifies,” said University Vice President for Development Joan O’Neill in an email Thursday. “The fact that Dean Snyder has such strong previous experience in fundraising is an added benefit for Yale and for the school.”

Since Snyder arrived, he has raised roughly $5 million toward the construction of Evans Hall, along with gifts of $4 million and $1 million, the largest since Snyder’s arrival, for two new SOM programs: the Leadership Development Program, which aims to educate SOM students about ethical leadership, and the Initiative on Leadership and Organizational Performance, a three-year project that will provide SOM faculty with funding for research starting in July 2013, as well as aid faculty recruitment, development and retention. Snyder said he cannot disclose specific information about his fundraising efforts or strategy because these efforts are currently under way.

Though Snyder said the SOM has not received “what [he] would call large, really substantial gifts that would represent substantial portions of the fundraising process” for Evans Hall since his arrival in July 2011, he said the school has continued to receive a steady flow of gifts for the campus, adding that construction efforts have also benefited from the timely payments of donations Oster solicited. He added that two of the most significant donations for Evans Hall raised prior to his arrival — the $50 million donation by Edward Evans ’64 and the $10 million donation by Wilbur Ross ’59 — have been paid in full, adding that an anonymous donor has paid 80 percent of his $25 million gift. Snyder and Joel Getz, senior associate dean for development and alumni relations, said they encourage donors who have pledged gifts to the school to pay their donations’ full amount as quickly as possible.

“Evans Hall is one of several priorities rather than our sole priority,” Snyder said. “Dean Oster and [University President Richard Levin] were so successful and many people were so generous before I came that [the $25 million] shortfall is something we want to eliminate, but it’s in our budget plan.”

Snyder said the SOM expects to borrow the remaining funds from the University in two stages: The school will first request funding to complete construction once its current resources run out, and then request a second sum once the SOM community moves into the new building. He said the second loan will resemble a mortgage and exceed $20 million. Both loans are within the parameters of the original budget plan for the school, he said.

University Vice President for Finance and Business Operations Shauna King said in a Jan. 16 email that the University has supported the SOM’s fundraising efforts “every step of the way,” adding that the school is raising all funds for Evans Hall as planned.

Snyder assumed office as the 10th dean of SOM on July 1, 2011.

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