OK GOCase Western Reserve marked the opening of the Tinkham Veale University Center Sunday with two historic announcements:

  • First, the university has reached its campaign goal of $1 billion—a full 2½ years ahead of its December, 2016, target end date.
  • Second, officials have decided to expand the campaign to $1.5 billion—Case Western Reserve’s largest ever.

“As humbled as we are by the generosity of our alumni and friends, we also are inspired by what their support allows us to achieve in education and research,” President Barbara R. Snyder said. “We want to continue to increase scholarships and fellowships, endowed professorships, and outstanding spaces for our community to learn, work and play.”

OK GOAs of July, 31, 2014, the campaign’s total in gifts and pledges was $1.04 billion. Included in that amount are:

  • $145.8 million for student support such as scholarships and fellowships;
  • $126.7 million to retain and recruit top faculty; and
  • $176.1 million for new and renovated buildings.

“Our original goal was ambitious, and people responded beyond anything we could have imagined,” campaign chairman Frank N. Linsalata said. “As we saw some of what that support made possible, we felt an obligation to continue this campaign so the university can do even more for society through teaching, learning and discovery.”

During Sunday’s ceremonies, President Snyder announced that a $6.7 million commitment from Char and Chuck Fowler to support adolescent and young adult cancer research proved to be the gift that put the campaign over the $1 billion mark. It also allowed the medical school and university to set new all-time records for annual fundraising. During fiscal year 2014, the medical school received $52.6 million in gifts and pledges, and the university received $151.6 million.

As it happened, the Fowler family had still more philanthropic news to share Sunday. Char Fowler and longtime university supporter Roe Green have come together to commit a total of $4 million to name the studio theater in The Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center in The Temple – Tifereth Israel. Both women are avid supporters of the theater arts, and this space is designed specifically to encourage experimentation and creativity.

OK GOThe university’s event, titled Let’s Go, featured new commitments as well. Barry Romich, a 1967 graduate in biomedical engineering, was among the university’s first donors to thinkbox, the Case School of  Engineering’s hands-on innovation hub. The modest-sized pilot version of the program has drawn 3,000 visits per month during the academic year and inspired increasing support for the fully realized project—a seven-story, 50,000 square-foot space that will feature giant workshop areas, meeting rooms and even offices for advisers to entrepreneurial efforts.  Romich has been so impressed with the pilot version’s success that this year he decided to double his original commitment, to $2 million. President Snyder also announced a second $2 million commitment to thinkbox, this one from 1943 chemical engineering graduate Cloud Cray.

As the announcement of donations appeared to be complete, Linsalata approached the podium with his own message: President Snyder and her husband, Michael, have pledged $1 million for scholarships, to be paid over time.

“Barbara told us that she had wanted to do something substantial for the university from the moment she arrived at Case Western Reserve,” Linsalata said. “This pledge underscores her commitment to ensure that cost does not keep talented students from receiving an education at Case Western Reserve.”

After the formal reception in the Tinkham Veale University Center, guests joined students, faculty, staff and alumni for a concert by Los Angeles band OK GO. President Snyder introduced the group, and also announced the new campaign goal to the crowd.

For more on the expanded campaign, please visit www.case.edu/forwardthinking.