Recently announced, Boundless Impact: The Campaign for Virginia Tech is the fourth national fundraising campaign in the university’s history. With a goal to raise $1.5 billion and engage 100,000 alumni around the world, it is by the far the most ambitious campaign in Virginia Tech history.

Philanthropic support of Virginia Tech actually dates all the way back to 1872. Donors provided 501 books to start the first library, and equipment and animals to start the first farm, at what was then the brand new Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College.

However, it was not until the 1980s that the university began to fundraise on a national scale. Prompted by a downturn in government support, university President William Lavery hired Virginia Tech’s first vice president for development, Charles Forbes. In 1983, the university launched The Campaign for Excellence, which raised $118 million, equivalent to about $274 million today.

A decade later, in 1995, Virginia Tech President Paul Torgersen announced the launch of the university’s second national campaign. The Campaign for Excellence had a goal of $250 million and was overseen by then Vice President for Development and University Relations Charles Steger. The campaign raised more than $337 million, which is approximately $530 million in today’s dollars.

Steger would go on to become the university’s next president. In 2007, he announced that Virginia Tech would attempt to raise $1 billion through The Campaign for Virginia Tech: Invent the Future. At the time, fewer than 30 universities were in the public phases of campaigns seeking $1 billion or more.

Led by Vice President for Development and University Relations Elizabeth “Betsy” Flanagan, Virginia Tech exceeded its goal. It raised $1.11 billion by the time the campaign concluded in 2011. Over the course of The Campaign for Virginia Tech: Invent the Future, the university’s endowment grew by 81 percent to $600.65 million.

Today, the endowment is well over $1 billion and likely to grow considerably as the university’s supporters from around the world participate in Boundless Impact: The Campaign for Virginia Tech.

As with past campaigns, the goal is to marshal support that makes it possible for Virginia Tech to enact its bold vision and make a positive impact on the world, but on a larger scale than ever before.


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