University of Melbourne sets sights on historic philanthropic goal

7 March 2016

The University of Melbourne has officially passed its Believe campaign target two years ahead of schedule, and has set its sights on completing the largest fundraising campaign in Australian history.

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Publicly launched in 2013, Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne aimed to raise $500 million by the end of 2017. Thanks to the generosity of more than 20,000 donors worldwide, the university has officially passed this mark.
At an event on campus March 4, Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis announced the university has launched a second phase of the campaign, with an aim of raising $1 billion by 2021 and engaging 100,000 alumni in the process.
It will be the largest-ever fundraising commitment for an Australian institution, and the largest public university philanthropic campaign ever conducted in the Asia-Pacific.
The campaign currently stands at $504 million.
Professor Davis said the university has been overwhelmed by the generosity of its donors.
“Our intent with the campaign has always been to change the lives of future generations. Thanks to our incredible alumni and donors, the impact has been nothing short of transformative.
“We’ve been able to provide more than $150 million to educate tomorrow’s leaders, $120 million towards enriching our communities, on top of the more than $230 million raised for groundbreaking research in areas including melanoma and skin cancers, childhood mental health and human rights law.”
Among the major gifts the University has received include $10 million to establish the Wade Institute for Entrepreneurship, $26 million for the Michael Buxton Centre of Contemporary Art and donations that will create 24 new professorships across the university.
More examples are available on request.
Professor Davis said that the University of Melbourne’s alumni and donor community has been essential to the Campaign’s success.  “This community is at the heart of the university; they are among our greatest ambassadors and have played a vital role in helping Melbourne become Australia’s leading university.”
“Their support, as volunteers and ambassadors, will ensure Melbourne is a university that stands as one of the finest in the world, and an institution that will continue to have a significant impact on groundbreaking research, educational opportunity and enriching public life.
“However, our work remains unfinished. Our aspiration is to engage 100,000 of our alumni by the end of the campaign in 2021, as active participants in the life of the university.”
Campaign Chair Mr Allan Myers AC QC said, ”As a graduate of this university, I believe that those who benefitted from a Melbourne education have the power to create a legacy for future generations.
“The Campaign has achieved so much in developing new research programs and making a difference to the lives of thousands of students.
“Philanthropy has also played a key role in leveraging government funding to change the face of the university’s Southbank campus, placing it at the heart of the Arts precinct of Melbourne.
“We all live in a world that is tackling serious questions of health, sustainability and innovation. We believe that Melbourne has a vital role to play in meeting these challenges. Great strides have been made, but there is more to do.”

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