Harvard Commencement / Ian Lamont

September 1, 2016; Harvard Magazine

Anyone who hangs around Harvard Square knows that the rate of construction on the Harvard campus is unusual. And no wonder—despite all of Harvard’s turmoil at its endowment operation (see recent NPQ newswire coverage here and here), it seems to be holding its own in the fundraising department. Three years ago, it set a $6.5 billion goal; as of June 30th, it had in hand $7 billion in gifts and commitments, the most that has ever been raised in a higher-education capital campaign. The drive is not due to end until June 2018, and its proceeds will be used for a variety of projects, including a lot of building.

“I am deeply grateful to everyone who has participated in this outstanding effort so far,” said President Drew Faust in a statement:

Our aspirations speak to our larger hopes not only for a better Harvard, but also for a better world—a world changed by the students we educate, the knowledge we pursue, and the discoveries and innovations we generate every day on our campus. The support we’ve received thus far resounds with confidence in the enduring value of this work and the essential role that Harvard—and all of higher education—plays in society.

Harvard Magazine reports, “Harvard has been able to maintain gifts and pledges at an annual rate of about $1 billion.” It projects that total campaign proceeds will be $9 billion or more. And yet, Harvard University is still, this year, refusing to pay the full amount requested by the City of Boston as a payment in lieu of taxes.—Ruth McCambridge