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Wash U Announces Leading Together Campaign

The major effort to enhance momentum and build the university’s impact has already raised more than $1 billion.

Washington University in St. Louis has announced a major, multi-year fundraising initiative, called Leading Together: The Campaign for Washington University, to build on its strong history and further evolve the university’s global leadership. 

Leading Together will focus on enhancing the university’s impact in four key areas: preparing the leaders of tomorrow, advancing human health, inspiring innovation and entrepreneurship, and enhancing the quality of life.

Leading Together was formally launched at a special event Saturday evening for more than 1,000 guests at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel in downtown St. Louis.

Leading Together is the outgrowth of a comprehensive strategic planning process to identify the greatest opportunities to enhance the university’s contributions to society. As part of this process, each school and several units developed plans that reflect a clear vision for the next decade. These priorities will significantly and positively impact the St. Louis region, the nation and the world, according to Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, who is celebrating his 17th anniversary as the university’s 14th chancellor today. 

The goal of Leading Together: The Campaign for Washington University is to raise a minimum of $2.2 billion in funding toward priorities included in the strategic plan.

“Through education, we are fostering the development of men and women who will contribute to some of society’s most complex challenges,” Wrighton said. “Through research, we create new knowledge and turn it into action to benefit the society we serve. We have the additional responsibility to nurture interdisciplinary work and collaborative efforts that accelerate the pace of progress in discovery and application of knowledge. Through our work, we are discovering new treatments for devastating diseases, from Alzheimer’s disease to cancer.

“We are improving public health and pioneering new sources of affordable, sustainable energy. We are developing strategies to create economic prosperity that will benefit St. Louis and communities everywhere. And, we are preparing talented students to become effective leaders in every area of society.” 

Leading the public phase of the campaign will be Andrew C. Taylor, a Washington University trustee and chairman and chief executive officer of St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings. Taylor, along with his father, Jack C. Taylor, a university emeritus trustee; and his sister, Jo Ann Taylor Kindle, president of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, have been longtime supporters of Washington University.

Trustees John F. McDonnell, retired chairman of the board of McDonnell Douglas Corp., and Sam Fox, former U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and founder and retired chairman and CEO of Harbour Group, Ltd., guided the university through the campaign’s initial leadership phase, which raised more than $1 billion.

“Over the past century and a half, our alumni, parents and friends have made an extraordinary difference for Washington University,” said Taylor. “In countless ways, they have contributed the time, talent and financial resources that made us a world-renowned university. Together with our alumni and friends, the faculty, staff and students of Washington University possess the creativity, drive and spirit to meet the challenges facing us today and in the decades to come.”

Leading Together is an effort to secure the resources needed to implement the priorities of the strategic plan:

  • $625 million to attract and retain outstanding faculty; 
  • $250 million to attract a talented and diverse student body;
  • $900 million to advance the scholarship, research and creative potential of students and faculty;
  • $225 million to further strengthen an exceptional teaching, research and living environment; and 
  • $200 million to enhance excellence throughout the university by increasing unrestricted annual support.

Washington University’s leadership in medicine, social work and undergraduate education is recognized worldwide, and the university is a global leader in liberal arts education.

Recent decades have seen enormous progress in the strength and quality of other programs, such as engineering, law, the John M. Olin School of Business, and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

“Washington University has an endless quest for excellence and continually builds its impact through education and research,” Wrighton said. “This campaign is a united effort by the university community to provide a strong foundation for the future. With the support of our alumni, parents, friends, corporations and foundations, we can build upon the great accomplishments of recent decades and contribute even more significantly to our communities, our nation and the world. ”

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