In May, MIT President L. Rafael Reif announced the public launch of the MIT Campaign for a Better World, an ambitious fundraising effort that aims to advance the Institute's ability to address some of the world's greatest challenges. The Campaign seeks to raise $5 billion and began its public phase with $2.6 billion already raised toward its goal. Thanks to the enthusiasm of MIT alumni and friends, the Institute had a strong finish to fiscal year 2016, closing with $529 million in new gifts and pledges and $2.9 billion raised in the Campaign.
"We have made great progress toward our very ambitious goal," says Julie Lucas, MIT's vice president for resource development. "We benefit from the strong support of alumni and friends around the world who believe in MIT's mission and ability to have a positive impact on the world. We are very appreciative of that support. It will take the entire MIT community working together to realize our financial goal, and to make progress in our efforts to help create a better world."
Through the MIT Campaign for a Better World, the Institute is focusing its strengths in education, research, and innovation on six priority areas:
- Discovery Science: Transforming our world through fundamental scientific research
- Health of the Planet: Addressing critical environmental and sustainability challenges facing humankind
- Human Health: Defining the future of health through advances from bench to bedside across a broad range of disciplines
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Accelerating the path from idea to impact
- Teaching, Learning, and Living: Reimagining education for the 21st-century learner
- The MIT Core: Attracting extraordinary students and faculty and providing them with the resources they need to thrive
Alumni and friends have responded enthusiastically to each priority area, making contributions to support work in areas ranging from human health to innovation and entrepreneurship. The Institute is already seeing the impact of some early Campaign gifts — including, to name just a few, the launch of the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Security Lab and a gift from the Leventhal family in support of the Center for Advanced Urbanism. Plans are also under way for the creation of a new makerspace made possible by the Victor and William Fung Foundation. Across campus, new teaching, learning, and research spaces are providing MIT's outstanding faculty and students with the facilities they need to collaborate and flourish. Funds for student scholarships and faculty research continue to ensure that the heart of the Institute — its exceptionally talented community — remains strong.
MIT will continue to build on the momentum of this past spring by engaging alumni from around the world through a series of Campaign roadshow events. The roadshow kicks off this fall in New York, and then moves to San Francisco. Events are scheduled through spring 2017. In this first year of the roadshow, alumni in Hong Kong, London, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Washington will be invited to hear President Reif's vision for building a better world. Additional roadshow cities will be announced.
"The Campaign presents inspiring new opportunities to leverage the MIT community's excellence in research, education, and innovation to do good in the world," Reif says. "Wherever I travel, I am finding that our aspirations for the Campaign are resonating with both our alumni and others who want to make a difference. A Campaign to address complex global challenges is a perfect extension of MIT's mission. By advancing the Campaign's priorities, we also advance the values that matter so deeply to us."
For more information about the MIT Campaign for a Better World, visit betterworld.mit.edu and follow #MITBetterWorld.