Powering Union campaign tops $300 million milestone early; fundraising continues

Publication Date

Powering Union, the largest and most ambitious capital campaign in the school’s 227-year history, has surpassed its goal of $300 million nearly a year ahead of schedule, College officials announced today.

Students conducting research in one of the microbiology labs.

Launched publicly three weeks before the pandemic in February 2020 and scheduled to conclude next June, the campaign has raised $304 million to date to support key priorities in the College’s strategic plan.

Among the priorities are ensuring access; propelling the liberal arts and engineering; developing students beyond the classroom; and expanding The Union Fund.

The campaign so far has featured gifts from more than 21,000 donors, including alumni, families, faculty, students, staff and foundations. Among them are more than 7,500 first-time donors. There also have been more than 65 gifts of $1 million or more.

“Since joining the Union community, I’ve learned that we’re always here for each other,” President David R. Harris said. “We support each other.

“The outpouring of support from alumni, families and friends is inspiring, and we are all excited by everything we will accomplish together. But we aren’t done yet.”

After eclipsing the campaign’s goal early, the College will continue its efforts to garner support for its key priorities, with a particular emphasis on developing students beyond the classroom. This includes internships, well-being and career workshops, undergraduate research, travel and experiential learning opportunities.

To learn more about Powering Union: The Campaign for Multiple Tomorrows, including how to make a gift, visit the website.

Campaign website

While the academic mission is the core of a Union education, Harris stressed in his Convocation address last week the importance of life outside the classroom.

To that end, he announced the launch of U Journey beginning with the Class of 2026. This involves a more intentional approach to how students fill their discretionary time. The initiative focuses on six areas: well-being, life skills, decision-making, cross-cultural competency, belonging and reflection.

“The full Union experience is achieved when life outside the classroom complements life inside the classroom,” Harris said.

The Powering Union campaign received a major boost with a $51 million gift from Class of 1980 graduates Rich and Mary Templeton. The gift, the largest ever for the College, will transform engineering and the liberal arts with the creation of the Templeton Institute for Engineering and Computer Science. The institute aims to develop innovative coursework and co-curricular programming that integrates engineering and computer science with the liberal arts, offer students high-impact experiential opportunities, and recruit and retain a diverse student body in these fields.

In addition, the gift will be used to recruit and retain women pursuing a degree in engineering or computer science, enhance the curriculum, support faculty and further develop spaces and facilities.

A student shows his art project to Laini Nemett, the John D MacArthur Associate Professor of Visual Arts

Thirty percent of campaign gifts received so far support scholarships for students, a key factor in ensuring access.

The campaign inspired a new partnership between Union and the Schuler Education Foundation to invest millions to enroll significantly more low-income students. By reaching its $20 million goal for that specific initiative, the College will receive a $22 million match from the foundation for $42 million in scholarship grant funding. This will allow Union to increase the number of Pell-eligible students it serves.

The Feigenbaum Foundation, created by brothers Armand V. Feigenbaum ’42 and Donald S. Feigenbaum ‘46, has pledged $11 million for scholarships, the visual arts, an endowed professorship in economics and a speaker series.

“We are incredibly grateful for the collective generosity of our Union community,” said Campaign Co-chair and Trustee Kathryn Stefanik Barry '01. "The willingness and desire to offer philanthropic support, particularly during a pandemic, is remarkable. These gifts will allow us to build on the shared values that are distinctive to Union's transformative educational experience.”

Trustees David J. Breazzano '78 and Guy Logan ’90 are also campaign co-chairs.

To celebrate Powering Union and to build on the momentum until the campaign concludes June 30, 2023, Harris and members of the Board of Trustees will host a series of receptions around the country in the coming months. The first two are in Denver, Colo., on Wednesday, Sept. 14, and in Atlanta, Ga., on Thursday, Oct. 27. Events are also scheduled for San Francisco (Jan. 24), Los Angeles (Jan. 26) and Palm Beach (March 2).


Developing Students Beyond the Classroom

  • Program support for The U Journey residential curriculum
  • Endowed Class Dean positions
  • Program support to enhance the First-year Experience
  • Immersive and engaging experiences (internships, study away, summer research)
  • Endowed athletic coaching positions

Propelling the Liberal Arts and Engineering

  • Endowed faculty positions in computer science, engineering, economics, statistics, psychology, mathematics and physics
  • Faculty research and travel funds
  • Faculty development programs to support excellence in teaching and research
  • Lab and facility enhancements
  • Academic instrumentation and equipment

Ensuring Access

  • Endowed and annual scholarship support for students
  • Scholarships for men's and women's ice hockey programs

The Union Fund

  • Discretionary support for teaching and learning, student experiences and emerging opportunities

To learn more about Powering Union: The Campaign for Multiple Tomorrows, including how to make a gift, visit the website.