Against the backdrop of the deepest recession since the 1930s, the University announced on Sept. 14 that it had 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. “When we announced our $3 billion goal, it was the most ambitious campaign in the country—public or private.”
Budget cuts announced on Sept. 8 by Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine underscored the necessity of private support for the University, Casteen added. The latest reduction in state funding—$19.3 million—brings the 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.
“Eighteen months ago—prior to the dramatic economic downturn—we projected that we would be at $2 billion by the end of June 2009,” said Gordon F. Rainey Jr. (Col ’62, Law ’67), campaign chairman and a former rector of the University. “To have achieved our $2 billion interim goal just eight weeks later than originally projected is a remarkable accomplishment.”