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Whitehead tops $12 million campaign goal

The Campaign for Discovery, the Whitehead Institute's first major fundraising initiative, has reached and exceeded its campaign goal, raising more than $12.5 million and meeting the challenge presented by the Kresge Foundation. The foundation granted a $1 million award last year on the condition that the campaign goal of $12 million was met by the end of June.

Funds from the Campaign for Discovery and the Kresge Foundation will help offset the cost incurred in constructing the Whitehead Institute's new research wing-a 76,000-square-foot addition that has increased research and training space by more than 45 percent. Completed earlier this summer, this addition houses a state-of-the-art X-ray crystallography suite, doubles the size of the transgenic mice facility and expands containment facilities for infectious disease research. On September 30, Whitehead will celebrate the dedication of this new wing in an event featuring guest speaker Dr. Harold Varmus, director of NIH.

"The Kresge challenge grant was a very exciting step forward in our campaign. The Kresge Foundation is a leader in philanthropy; we appreciate their decision to work with and support us in advancing the goals of the Whitehead Institute," said Susan Whitehead, who chaired the Campaign for Discovery.

"When we were first approached by the Whitehead Institute, the Foundation's board felt that we were taking a risk in making such a large challenge grant to an organization involved in its first campaign, especially since it had a very limited donor group," said John E. Marshall III, president of the Kresge Foundation. "However, as we watched the progress of the campaign, we became confident that the Whitehead would succeed because of the way the Kresge grant was utilized to encourage donor participation. We commend the Whitehead on its campaign planning, implementation and post-campaign follow through, and we are pleased that we were able to influence the outcome of this wonderful effort."

"The campaign has proved to be more than just a fundraising effort," said Dr. Gerald Fink, Whitehead's director. "It has helped us widen our circle of friends in the form of foundations, corporations and individuals who believe in the power of basic biomedical research to solve public health problems."

Launched in 1993, the three-year campaign grew out of a strategic plan developed by the Institute's board of directors, the faculty and the Scientific Advisory Board. This plan called for significant investment in three critical areas of science: structural biology, infectious disease and transgenic science. The new wing fulfilled these needs.

Other leadership donors to the Campaign include the Whitehead Charitable Foundation that initiated the Campaign with a $3 million gift. "This gift symbolizes the exceptional dedication and commitment shown by the second generation of the Institute's founder, Edwin C. `Jack' Whitehead," Dr. Fink said.

"The Campaign for Discovery was the Institute's first major fundraising initiative. New technologies were placing a serious burden on our facilities, and we wanted to make sure that our scientists would continue to have the space and resources necessary to achieve their research goals," said Ms. Whitehead.

Patrick J. McGovern (SB '59) and Lore Harp McGovern are also among the leadership supporters and will be honored at the Institute's dedication event for the new research wing on September 30.

"Creativity, enthusiasm, hard work and commitment are the basic keys to success. Combine these qualities with an entrepreneurial spirit and cutting-edge ideas and you have described the Whitehead Institute. Lore and I admire the dramatic rise of the Institute to the pinnacle of biomedical science and know that because of its track record and the caliber of its research staff, our support will result in remarkable scientific discoveries," said Mr. McGovern, who is chairman of the board of International Data Group and a member of the MIT Corporation.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 11, 1996.

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