INSPIRED fundraising campaign soars over $400 million milestone

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A generous gift of more than $10 million has propelled the University of Sydney’s INSPIRED Campaign to over $400 million – surpassing two thirds of its ambitious fundraising goal of $600 million by 2017.

“Reaching the $400 million point in the INSPIRED Campaign shows that philanthropists understand the value of investing in universities and they trust us to make the best use of their gift,” said Tim Dolan, Vice-President, Division of Alumni and Development.

The INSPIRED Campaign began in 2008 and is the largest and most ambitious fundraising campaign in Australian higher education history. It exists to help the University achieve what government funding alone cannot, providing much needed funds to areas that receive less support despite being just as important.

Since the Campaign began the University has received a number of transformative gifts, including the most recent donation from alumnus and staff member, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Brian Trudinger. Professor Trudinger’s $10.4 million cash donation to the University, plus ownership of the Westmead Fertility Centre, has driven the campaign past the $400 million milestone. The gift will establish both a chair in reproductive endocrinology and infertility and endow a research program in maternal foetal medicine.

“Philanthropy in the Australian higher education sector is gathering pace. It’s an established practice in the USA, and we’re starting to see it gain real momentum here as more people become aware that giving to a premier research and teaching institution like the University of Sydney, is one of the most effective ways to invest in the future of Australia,” said Tim, who explains what gifts to the University are helping to achieve:
“Donors have the capacity to make seismic shifts in responding to the world’s most critical issues. Gifts to the University of Sydney are helping to fund life-changing research into cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes; they are funding the search for new ways to treat Parkinson’s disease as well as helping to find cancer vaccines and preventing strokes.

“Donors make possible ground-breaking discoveries in science and physics, they play a role in solving the energy crisis, and they help to make education accessible to promising students, whatever their background.”
Generous gifts to the University during the Campaign period have included a $20 million donation to establish the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership, a $15 million bequest for research into bowel cancer and a donated Picasso painting, which raised $20.6 million, and fully endowed chairs across multiple faculties.

To date the INSPIRED Campaign has attracted over 37,000 donors. In 2013 alone, the University raised $82.5 million from more than 12,000 contributors, twice the number of donors of any other Australian university.

“While we are incredibly excited by this milestone and the support we have received to date, we are by no means resting on our laurels. There are still many critical research projects that require funding, students who are in need of financial support, Indigenous pathways to strengthen, buildings to establish or upgrade and academics to recruit. We’re thrilled with the Campaign’s progress and extremely motivated as we work towards our goal of $600 million.”