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ASU announces $1.5 billion comprehensive campaign

Campaign ASU 2020 aims to educate community about value of private support.
Wide-ranging comprehensive campaign is about gifts both large and small.
55,600 students have already benefited from scholarships during the campaign.
January 26, 2017

Funds raised in Campaign ASU 2020 to fuel discovery, champion student success and enrich community, among other initiatives

Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. To read more top stories from 2017, click here.

Developing an Ebola treatment. Caring for a city’s homeless population. Opening pathways to higher education through scholarships.

Such accomplishments take intelligence, compassion — and generosity. To make possible more such life-changing actions, Arizona State University is embarking on a comprehensive campaign to raise at least $1.5 billion to accelerate its mission.

Campaign ASU 2020 is a strategic effort that will focus the entire university’s development energies on one goal — to permanently raise the long-term fundraising capacity of the university. The donations will fund scholarships, faculty research, labs, projects to ensure that students succeed to graduation, arts initiatives and ventures in the community.

ASU President Michael M. Crow said the campaign comes at a pivotal time when the university is reflecting on its successes and building on that momentum.

“Campaign ASU 2020 is our moment in time to say, ‘Yes, we’ve been able to do that. Look at who we are.’ It’s not just the faculty and it’s not just the students and it’s not just the staff. It’s the hundreds of thousands of people and the thousands of organizations that are behind us to move this university forward,” he said.

The campaign has been in a “quiet” phase since 2010 — with $1 billion already raised through donations by corporations, organizations and, especially, individuals — 260,000 individuals have contributed so far, and 55,600 students have benefited from scholarships during the campaign.

Campaign ASU 2020 officially kicked off Thursday night at a gathering of university leaders and supporters. The focus of the night — and the message of the philanthropic effort — is how the work of ASU touches individuals, both on campus and in the community.

Megan Phillips, a global health major at ASU, has walked the streets of Phoenix with her fellow students to care for homeless people. She said her work at a downtown shelter and at the Student Health Outreach for Wellness clinic provides hope and dignity to homeless people.

“But it also provides students like me the chance to broaden their perspectives and serve the community in a very real way,” said Phillips, who is now the director of programs for the student-run clinic. The clinic is in the midst of raising $5,000 to help further its programs. Read more here.

Professor Charles Arntzen, who has saved lives with the Ebola treatment he developed at ASU, said the private funding he received allowed him to try something new and develop it into the leading therapeutic for Ebola.

“I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to be a scientist who started with a crazy idea and ended up seeing that our product saved lives in Africa,” said Arntzen, who is a Regent’s Professor and holds the Florence Ely NelsonThe Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Chair in Plant Biology was created by created by an endowment from Florence Nelson, who, Arntzen said, "gave me the freedom to explore blue-sky ideas that would typically be considered too risky for conventional grant programs. Florence’s visionary investment ultimately led the way to our discovery of ZMapp, today’s most promising drug treatment for people infected with Ebola." Presidential Chair in Plant Biology.

Crow said that ASU produces change at a huge scale, but it starts with individuals.

“It’s these people who are going to go out and produce these new ideas, produce the changes across the entire spectrum of society,” he said.

ASU must pursue larger, more important goals, Crow said, and become the model for future of higher education.

“This campaign will allow us to build on the momentum of all that we have established thus far and solidify our position as the first institution to successfully blend this level of academic excellence and egalitarian access,” he said.

A history of philanthropy

The university’s very beginning was because of a gift. Donor Craig Weatherup explained that in 1885, local butcher shop owners George and Martha Wilson gave 15 acres of pastureland to build the Territorial Normal School. He noted that two previous fundraising campaigns, in the 1980s and the 1990s, both exceeded their targetsIn the 1980s, the Centennial Campaign set a goal of $75 million and raised $114 million, and in the 1990s, when the campaign set a goal of $300 million and raised $560 million..

“Of course, it’s important to note that we didn’t arrive at this point overnight,” said WeatherupCraig Weatherup is an honorary co-chair of ASU’s President’s Club., former founding chairman and CEO of Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. The Weatherup Family Foundation has funded several initiatives, including the Weatherup Center indoor practice facility and training center for the university’s varsity basketball teams.

He noted other significant donors who have transformed ASU, endowing colleges, launching research centers, building facilities and funding student activities such as the Sun Devil Marching Band.

In addition to fundraising, Campaign ASU 2020 is about educating the community to the value of private support while engaging alumni and friends with the university.

The campaign’s goal of at least $1.5 billion will be distributed this way:

  • $441 million to fuel discovery, creativity and innovation, paying for research, labs, equipment, entrepreneurship opportunities and art galleries.
  • $258 million to drive Sun Devil Athletics competitiveness by increasing scholarships and academic support, adding sports and an Olympic Village on the east side of Rural Road that will include tennis, softball, track and field, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, gymnastics and volleyball facilities, as well as an Olympic Village-style space for student-athletes.
  • $233 million to elevate the academic enterprise by funding endowed professorships, faculty fellowships and artist-in-residence programs.
  • $220 million to ensure student access and excellence, including scholarships based on need and merit, as well as helping students make progress toward graduation.
  • $184 million to champion student success, which funds students’ learning in real-life situations, study abroad and leadership development.
  • $165 million to enrich our communities, enabling ASU students to participate in local projects, performing arts and public television.

Private support is not a replacement for the university’s other sources of revenue, including investments from the state, students, their families, faculty, staff and research grants. Private support provides the margin of excellence that enables the “extras” that shape excellent, meaningful and impactful university and research experiences.

The campaign, which is being guided by the ASU Foundation for a New American University, is emphasizing the importance of small gifts, noting that in one year, more than 100,000 individual donors gave a total of $215 million that affected every college and school at ASU.

Donors can choose where to giveMany donors choose to restrict their gifts to a certain use or distribution schedule, which can include estate gifts and endowments. Accordingly, many funds raised during the campaign will not be available for immediate spending and will not apply to the university’s yearly operations budget., and ASU’s colleges have set priorities. For example, the W. P. Carey School of Business hopes to raise at least $150 million to fund student scholarships, summer programs and research centers, and to endow faculty chairs and professorships, including one named for Loui Olivas, which would be the first chair named for someone of Hispanic descent at any top 30 business school in the U.S.

ASU President Michael Crow at Campaign ASU 2020 kickoff

President Michael Crow speaks at Thursday's official kickoff of Campaign ASU 2020 at Chase Field in Phoenix. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Some Campaign ASU 2020 projects would far exceed the boundaries of campus, including creation of “The Culture Lab of the Americas,” a $30 million, 45,000-square-foot building with state-of-the-art classrooms, research labs, event spaces and ASU Art Museum gallery space that will connect artists and designers with practitioners across disciplines. The Culture Lab will be located near the Phoenix Art Museum and Heard Museum and will offer advanced degree programs and research centers through the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

ASU emphasizes projects that cross disciplines, and Lee Hartwell, a Nobel laureate and professor at ASU, spoke about how today’s students will enter a world that’s almost unimaginable now due to rapid technology changes.

“So, we have to do things differently — and we are. I believe that ASU is leading the way,” said Hartwell, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001 and is the Virginia G. Piper Chair Virginia G. Piper Chair of Personalized Medicine is funded by a donation by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.of Personalized Medicine and co-director of the Biodesign Institute's new Center for Sustainable Health.

He has appointments in the colleges of education, biomedical engineering and sustainability, and that gives him the chance to work with diverse colleagues. For example, in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, he is collaborating on a course called Sustainability for Teachers, intended to make the topic dynamic and inspiring.

“We think this is an important first step in educating the next generation on the very real challenges they face,” he said.

Campaign ASU 2020 principals

Campaign ASU 2020 principals (from left) Bill Post, Craig Weatherup, John Graham, Barbara McConnell Barrett and Leo Beus applaud the donations of all individuals and corporations so far; $1 billion has been raised since the campaign's "quiet launch" in 2010. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Donor Leo Beus described how moving it was to see the effects of his gift. He and his wife, Annette, established the Beus Family New American University Scholarship to support incoming freshmen or community college transfer students who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The couple then were able to interview the students who received the scholarships.

“We had the experience of looking them in the eyes and telling them not to worry because their college tuition was covered — and we knew our investments changed lives,” said Beus, co-founder of Beus Gilbert PLLC. They also supported the Beus Center for Law and Society, the new downtown Phoenix home of ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law. The center was designed to also house the nation’s first teaching law firm, a law library open to the public and a legal triage service to help the public find legal support.

Jackson Dangremond, president of the Undergraduate Student Government on the Downtown campus and a junior majoring in health care innovation, noted the donations that have already been made.

“Every step moves us one step closer to achieving our aspirations and making a difference in countless lives.”

For more about Campaign ASU 2020, visit Want to learn more about what a comprensive campaign is and why a public university needs private support, read the campaign primer from the experts at the ASU Foundation.

Top photo: Fireworks, singers and band members from the ASU School of Music celebrate at the conclusion of the official launch of Campaign ASU 2020 on Thursday at Chase Field in Phoenix. The goal is to raise at least $1.5 billion by the year 2020, with $1 billion already raised since the campaign's "quiet launch" in 2010. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

ASU Fulton Schools outreach benefited thousands in 2016: What will 2017 bring?

January 27, 2017

Arizona State University was recently named to the 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in all four categories: Education, Economic Opportunity, General Community Service and Interfaith Community Service. 

This award is among the highest honors a college or university can receive for volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement — and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering has contributed to ASU’s prominence in these areas. Visitors at Night of the Open Door on the Polytechnic campus tour ASU labs and participate in hands-on activities organized by Fulton Schools faculty and students. Photographer: Nick Narducci Visitors at Night of the Open Door on the Polytechnic campus tour ASU labs and participate in hands-on activities organized by Fulton Schools faculty and students. Photographer: Nick Narducci Download Full Image

In particular, the Fulton Schools’ is a key player in the honor roll’s education category, which recognizes institutions for their strong commitment to improving PreK-14 educational outcomes. On the honor roll, ASU was named one of four finalists for the Education Award.

In 2016, Fulton Schools engineering students — many within the Fulton Schools’ 60-plus student organizations — shared their energy and passion for science, technology, engineering and math with more than 11,000 elementary and secondary students throughout Arizona in various educational outreach programs, including 24 camps with multiple sections, totaling around 45-promoted opportunities for students to engage.

“We are very proud of the significant contributions our faculty, students and staff are making to educate, excite and engage these young students to the opportunities available to them in engineering,” says James Collofello, vice dean for Academic and Student Affairs and computer systems engineering professor.

Programs continue to excel

In summer 2016, the Fulton Schools involved more than 500 students — elementary through high school aged — in various programs offered as part of the Fulton Schools Summer Academy. Offerings included coding, robotics, video game and app camps, the free and weeklong National Summer Transportation Institute, as well as SEE@ASU: a weeklong, overnight campus visit, in which students become familiar with the different labs and types of engineering available at ASU.

Students study the creation of asphalt as part of the free and week-long National Summer Transportation Institute, a program in the Fulton Schools Summer Academy.

Students study the creation of asphalt as part of the free and weeklong National Summer Transportation Institute, a program in the Fulton Schools Summer Academy. Photo by: Jessica Hochreiter/ASU

The Fulton Schools are already gearing up to offer another stellar summer academy featuring dozens of programs. This summer a new intermediate coding camp for fifth- through seventh-graders has been added. Program registrations open in February 2017.

For the sixth year, the Fulton Schools are also supporting the upcoming February Night of the Open Door events on both the Tempe and Polytechnic campuses, which provides a yearly opportunity for faculty and their students to open their labs and share their projects with the community.

EPICS High, an extension of the Engineering Projects in Community Service program, also had another landmark year with 25 schools — 50 percent from low income or underserved areas — and more than 1,100 students participating. The program has also branched out to include middle schools and now has around 400 students participating. They’ve also launched a pilot program at Estrella Mountain Community College in Avondale, Arizona.

Continually invested in First Lego League 

In 2015-2016, the Fulton Schools also continued to invest in Arizona FIRST LEGO League (FLL) programming. As part of the summer academy, the Fulton Schools hosted FLL Jr., Intermediate and Introduction summer camps, including a girls-only camp.

Donned in colorful eagle hats, members of the Eaglebots team, from Hope Christian Academy in Chandler, Arizona, prep their robot's first run at the FIRST® LEGO League state championship tournament on January 15, 2017.

Members of the Eaglebots team, from Hope Christian Academy in Chandler, Arizona, prep their robot’s first run at the FIRST® LEGO League state championship tournament on Jan. 15, 2017. Photo by: Jessica Hochreiter/ASU

In December 2015, the Fulton Schools hosted the state FLL tournament, which brought together nearly 600 students on more than 60 teams along with team coaches, mentors, teachers, parents and competition judges to compete at the spirited event. Nearly 100 staff, faculty and students volunteered to support the effort.

The Fulton Schools kicked off 2017’s outreach efforts on Jan. 14-15, with this year’s state tournament, turning out even larger numbers for the event themed, “Animal Allies.” The tournament featured 96 teams, and both of the winnings teams were all girls’ teams.  

New additions to programming

For four years, the Fulton Schools also hosted DiscoverE Days, a yearly engineering open house that brought hundreds of students to the Tempe campus for hands-on engineering learning opportunities and lab tours. This year, the Fulton Schools switched their focus to promoting small-sized fields trips called “A Day in the Life Of…”, and expect to have twelve events throughout the year bring around 1,500 students to visit campus and learn about the different facets of engineering and engineering education.

The Fulton Schools are also launching the Young Engineers Shape the World program, which will be test piloted in seven schools and coordinated by Tirupalavanam Ganesh, a Tooker Professor and Assistant Dean, and Lauren Preble, a Fulton Schools Outreach Coordinator. The program offers scholarships, and aims to support young women in high school seeking to earn a degree in the Fulton Schools.

Through these outreach activities, the Fulton Schools further their commitment to the fact that engineering affects students, the community and the larger world, for the better, every day.

“We will continue to make this effort a priority in the Fulton Schools,” says Collofello.

“With millions of unfilled STEM jobs expected by 2018, it is incredibly important that the Fulton Schools continues to bring awareness, engagement, opportunity, interest and understanding in various pathways to PreK-14 students and their families from all backgrounds and areas in Arizona,” says Hope Parker, Associate Director for Engineering Education and Outreach.

All of these programs and efforts aim to inspire the next generation of critical thinkers and leaders by sparking their interest and providing mentors and role models.

“Kids need to see themselves in roles in industry and community, and this is where students, faculty and the community come in,” says Parker.

“The Fulton Schools’ dedication to taking an active approach to guiding and developing the next generation will help to ensure that our world is better for generations to come.”

Rose Gochnour Serago

Communications Program Coordinator, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering