Tulane Announces State's Largest University Fundraising Campaign

March 17, 2005

Mike Strecker
Phone: 504-865-5210

Tulane University President Scott Cowen and Board of Tulane Chair Cathy Pierson announced the public launch of "Promise and Distinction: The Campaign for Tulane," the largest university fundraising effort in Louisiana's history, at a news conference this morning at the Tulane president's home.

Cowen also announced a $6 million gift from Bertie Deming Smith and several other new gifts and pledges of at least $1 million each, which, along with earlier gifts, will bring Tulane two-thirds of the way toward its goal of raising $700 million by 2008.

In addition to the $6 million gift from Bertie Deming Smith, the new gifts of $1 million or more each, include the Murphy Foundation's support for the renovation of Richardson Hall as the new home for the Murphy Institute for Political Economy; Netscape co-founder Jim Clark's support for the directorship of the Theodore Roosevelt Center For American Civilization; Lydian Asset Management's support for an endowed chair in the Department of Political Science; support from the Aron Foundation and alumnus Sy Rosenwasser for School of Medicine scholarships and a commitment from the Goldring Family Foundation for intercollegiate athletics.

"Promise and Distinction: The Campaign for Tulane" began its "silent phase" soon after Cowen arrived at Tulane in 1998. The campaign was an outgrowth of the strategic plan Cowen formulated to assess the university's needs and aspirations for the next decade.

Nearly half of the $700 million raised during the campaign will be dedicated to Tulane's endowment, a permanent investment fund which will finance the university's goal of attracting and retaining the best faculty, students and staff and assuring the diversity and excellence of all its academic and extracurricular programs. The second largest amount of raised funds,$200 million, will be dedicated to expanding and improving campus facilities including the University Center, residence halls, the library, research and educational facilities of the Health Sciences Center and the university's technology infrastructure.

Undergraduate education and research and education programs such as gene therapy, the RiverSphere, a research and education center devoted to the Mississippi River, and the Murphy Institute for Political Economy will receive $125 million of the money raised.

The final $50 million of the raised funds will be dedicated to the university's annual fund, unrestricted funds that allow an institution to respond to unexpected needs, opportunities and operational costs.

"At the conclusion of this campaign, Tulane's endowment will be more than $1 billion," Cowen said. "Having a $1 billion endowment can transform a university in terms of quality, impact and reputation while enhancing a region's economic opportunities. This is a great moment in the history of Tulane University and the state of Louisiana."

Today's announcement kicks off a two-day celebration of the campaign's launch which will include "An Evening of Distinction," a live variety-style show seen in 29 cities across the United States and Puerto Rico March 17 at 8 p.m. Eastern time, 7 p.m. Central time, 6 p.m. Mountain time and 5 p.m. Pacific time. "Marriedýwith Children" star Harold Sylvester, "While You Were Out" host Evan Farmer, New York Yankees great Bobby Brown, Yahoo! co-founder David Filo and former "Meet the Press" moderator Bill Monroe are just a few of the Tulane University alumni who will be part of "An Evening of Distinction."

Launch events will also include "Highlights of Tulane," featuring Tulane faculty achievements March 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m; "The Big Splash," an on-campus party for Tulane students, faculty and staff March 18 from 3 to 5 p.m. and "HullabaZoo," an invitation only celebration of Tulane research and artistic achievements March 18 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Audubon Zoo. For a full schedule of campaign kickoff events visit

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000