Five female CWRU students hold signs that say "thank you"

University supporters’ $1.8 billion in campaign giving surpasses two goals—and all expectations

Case Western Reserve’s Forward Thinking capital campaign has concluded with a total of $1.82 billion in pledges and gifts—far exceeding the updated $1.5 billion goal set in 2014, much less the original aim of $1 billion.

“The generosity of alumni, friends and philanthropic organizations is both extraordinary and inspiring,” President Barbara R. Snyder said. “We are honored and humbled by this support, which already has made a significant positive impact on our university.”

First announced in 2011, Forward Thinking marked the university’s first capital campaign since the previous one concluded in 1994. The university also had strained relationships with its alumni in the early and mid-2000s, such that alumni giving fell to 12 percent and total annual support stood below $70 million in the fiscal year that ended in 2007.

In President Snyder’s first year, however, gifts and pledges topped $100 million, and that number has climbed annually ever since. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, for example, the total was $208 million.

Capital Campaign Chair Frank N. Linsalata—who, with his wife, Jocelyne, personally contributed to undergraduate scholarships, the Linsalata Alumni Center and the Tinkham Veale University Center—attributed the campaign’s success to multiple people, starting with the campaign’s 60,000 donors.

“Our supporters recognized the longstanding strengths of Case Western Reserve, as well as the university’s increasingly positive trajectory under President Snyder’s leadership,” Linsalata said. “Momentum first built gradually, and then increasingly accelerated as people saw the progress taking place on campus.”

The campaign’s supporters—including 34,000 who gave to the university for the very first time—contributed to 98 endowed professorships, which represent among the highest honors faculty can receive. In addition to providing annual support for their work, such professorships also help attract and keep outstanding scholars.

Roughly 46,000 alumni contributed to the campaign, including graduates like the late Tinkham Veale II, a 1937 graduate who came to campus from Kansas oil fields and felt so grateful for the opportunity that he began giving annually to the university right after he graduated. During this campaign, he made the $20 million naming commitment that allowed construction to begin on the Tinkham Veale University Center; earlier gifts included support of the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center, endowed professorships and scholarships.

Increasing scholarship support was a leading priority of the Forward Thinking campaign, and drew nearly $254 million in contributions. This area continues to be a primary focus of university fundraising in 2019, and is expected to be formalized in a mini-campaign in the near future.

Meanwhile, new construction and renovations represent the most visible impact of the campaign. In addition to the university center, projects have included the Health Education Campus with Cleveland Clinic, The Maltz Performing Arts Center, the Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box] in the Richey-Mixon Building, and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences—all thanks to pledges and gifts totaling $393 million.