Boston University officials said they plan to use Saturday’s Celebration for BU to kick-start a massive new fundraising program called Campaign for BU.
“[This will be] the public launch of BU’s first ever comprehensive fundraising campaign,” said Steve Hall, vice president of alumni relations. “That will be a campaign with a goal of $1 billion over the next five years.”
Hall said the fundraising will go to hiring new faculty, construction, renovation and financial aid.
He said the main difference between this campaign and any other fundraising effort is that it gives the university and alumni a timeline.
“It gives you a sense of urgency, it gives you a deadline, it gives you a goal,” he said. “The combination of those three things tends to make us more successful in making lots of money,” Hall said. “It’s also a call to arms for alumni and friends.”
Hall said the campaign will be beneficial to students, particularly as it will strengthen BU’s reputation.
“The real impact on the current students is every dollar that comes into this campaign is going to make the university stronger and that is going to increase the value of their degree,” Hall said.
Some students said they would like funds to go toward dormitory and facility renovations.
College of Arts and Sciences sophomore Jacqueline MacDonald said she would like to see the CAS classrooms renovated.
“I think some of the classrooms are nice in there, but I think overall the building just needs to be upgraded,” she said.
The campaign, set to last seven years, is in its quiet phase, Hall said.
“We have been going to those alumni and friends closest to us and seeking their support before we go public with the campaign,” he said. “There will be five years of the public phase.”
Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore said the celebration will bring together members of the BU community.
“This is a historic moment for the university,” he said. “The student body is always looking for a reason to come together, and these events give them those opportunities.”
Other students said they are happy that BU plans to fundraise and hope the money is put back into student life.
“I think it would be nice to have more gift money rather than raising tuition if they were to think about doing that, so they’d have outside money rather than just asking us students for more,” said CAS freshman Mackenzie Feeley. “If the alumni are looking to give, why not?”
MacDonald said she wants the fundraiser to lower costs for students.
“I’m happy that they’re trying to bring in money from outside sources,” she said. “I’d like to see the tuition go down because of fundraisers.”
College of Engineering freshman Rodolfo Rodriguez said funds should go to financial aid and lowering tuition, as some students may be scared away from BU by its cost.
“If you’re getting more money, you can help more people with financial aid,” he said. “One of the things that might set back a student from going to BU is the high tuition and cost just to be here. We could get a lot of other top students just because the cost is a big factor.”