Despite the challenges of raising funds in the country’s deepest recession since the 1930s, the University of Virginia has reached the $2 billion mark in its $3 billion fundraising campaign.

“This campaign was noteworthy from the beginning,” said University President John T. Casteen III in announcing the milestone. “When we announced our $3 billion goal, it was the most ambitious campaign in the country – public or private. No one would have thought twice if Harvard or Yale or Columbia had announced a $3 billion campaign, but I imagine that many were surprised to learn that UVA had set such a bold target.”

Budget cuts announced on Sept. 8 by Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine underscored the necessity of private support for the University, Casteen added. The University’s state funding will be reduced by another $19.3 million – bringing total state cuts to $51.5 million over the past three years.

When Casteen became president in 1990, state revenues made up 29.9 percent of the academic division budget and 22.9 percent of the University’s total budget. Today, state funds have dropped to 10 percent of the academic budget and 6 percent overall.

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