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Campaign Update

Less than two years remain in the College's Campaign for the College of Biological Sciences. The Campaign outlines a number of strategic priorities from increasing scholarship support to funding the new Active Learning Lab and CBS Conservatory. CBS Chief Advancement Officer Reede Webster gives a progress report and explains how faculty and staff can get involved. 

Q. The College is close to achieving its $21-million Great Science at a Grand Scale Campaign goal with nearly two years left to go. Can you give us a progress report? 

We set a tall goal for our campaign. It was originally planned for $12 million, but with input and enthusiasm from our friends and alumni we publicly launched a $21 million campaign two years ago. Thanks to a great campaign steering committee and amazing donors, we are at 95 percent of our overall campaign goal having raised $20 million to date. That includes more than $11 million for student-based initiatives — including 100 new four-year scholarships - and $6 million for faculty, staff and research support. Our goal for the next two years is to accelerate fundraising for our bricks and mortar priorities — the new Conservatory and new Active Learning Lab in BioSci building — as well fulfill our fundraising priorities for the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and a new endowed chair for Biology Teaching and Learning.

Q. Funding for the Active Learning Lab, which opens this week, is among the Campaign priorities. How are you engaging potential donors?

Three years ago we engaged alumni, donors and friends in leadership briefings to gain input and insights into our College’s funding priorities. We are re-engaging in this process this fall, with briefings September 6 and October 9. At 3 p.m. this Friday we are celebrating the opening of our new active learning lab on the third floor of the Biological Sciences Center, complete with a large scissors! We hope you will join us.

Q. You’ve met with hundreds of alumni and donors over the last four years and had several record-setting fundraising years. Any observations about why they give and what keeps them engaged with the College? 

There is a tremendous sense of community among CBS alumni. This is particularly true among our younger alumni, who entered CBS as freshman and went through the Nature of Life program. Our alumni also have pride in our College — one of only two in the nation that focus entirely on the biological sciences.

Q. Any thoughts on how faculty and staff can engage with the Campaign? 

There is no better way to engage a donor than a visit with a faculty or staff member — taking a tour of a lab, learning about research, or heading out to one of our research stations. We also have over 100 faculty and staff who are donors to our College. Many donate through payroll deduction. Should you want to join the CBS Great Science at a Grand Scale campaign, click here.


September, 2019