At an outdoor press event on September 8, 2017, a crowd of U of M donors, students, staff, faculty, alumni, and other supporters gathered to celebrate the official launch of the public phase of a 10-year fundraising campaign called Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign. The goal is to raise $4 billion for students, faculty, and the University’s three-part mission of education, research, and outreach for the benefit of all Minnesotans.
The campaign includes all five University campuses, all 16 degree-granting colleges, and many more non-degree programs, including Athletics, the Weisman Art Museum, Extension, and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
“In an era of tremendous transformation and constant change, it’s time to restate the promise of the University of Minnesota—to ignite hope, inspire new generations, and deliver innovations that fuel our economy and shape our world,” said University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler. “Our University is uniquely positioned to lead the way. Through Driven, we will have a direct and enduring difference on our students, state, and world. But getting there will take courage, commitment, a sense of adventure, and an even deeper belief in the power of generosity.”
The event followed a presentation at the U of M Board of Regents meeting that morning, in which campaign co-chairs John and Nancy Lindahl introduced the five campaign priorities and University of Minnesota Foundation CEO Kathy Schmidlkofer described campaign goals, progress, and impact areas. The board unanimously voted to adopt a resolution endorsing Driven.
Work between University leadership and donors began on the campaign in July 2011, when Kaler became president.
Over the last six years, the University has secured more than $2.5 billion in gifts, grants, and commitments from the private sector. The goal is to raise the remaining $1.5 billion by June 2021. The campaign will rank among the top five campaigns of public universities nationwide.
- Carlson family philanthropy now stands at over $68 million in gifts to the University, ranking the family as the U's largest individual contributor.
- Minnesota Masonic Charities accelerates its pledge payments and provides an influx of $25 million for the Masonic Cancer Center to use over the next two years.
- 3M’s $26 million investment in the Driven campaign includes a new $8 million commitment to support scholarships and outreach programs.
- A College of Design alumnus and spouse have committed $3 million to support graduate students studying landscape architecture.