Step Forward fundraising campaign raises $156 million, exceeding initial goal

By Augusta Funk

President Brian Rosenberg embarked upon a nation-wide tour this month to thank those who contributed to Macalester’s Step Forward campaign. Running from October 2009 until December of last year, the campaign exceeded its goal of raising $150 million and secured funds of $156 million. With 65 percent of the college’s alumni contributing, the college reported a total figure of 20,253 donors to the campaign despite the poor economic conditions over its course. Beth Guise, Assistant Vice President for Development, who played a major role in planning, noted the purpose of the tour being twofold: first for the college to express thanks to those who contributed to the campaign, and second to show donors how the campaign is affecting the campus. New professorships, a staggering $38 million for financial aid and student-faculty research projects, and over $54.2 for new facilities are some of the forms in which the Step Forward campaign has already manifested itself. Although planning for the tour began months before the conclusive figures of the campaign surfaced in January, Guise noted arrangements weren’t exactly simple. “We wanted to be able to present first-rate celebratory events for our donors in the most cost-effective ways possible,” she said. Fourteen different cities are to be visited over the course of the tour, which began with an event in Phoenix in January. Events in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle were scheduled for the remainder of the month. Two events are scheduled for the Twin Cities this month, as well as one for Chicago. In March, Rosenberg is scheduled to travel to New York, D.C., Boston and London. Three more Twin Cities events are scheduled in April due to the large amount of local donors. What these events hope to accomplish is simple. “We want campaign donors to leave these events feeling appreciated and valued for their financial support,” Guise said. Along with the aforementioned projects and funds, the Annual Fund, a key part to the college’s financial resources, is set to receive over $22 million. Not only will current Macalester students benefit from the campaign, but future ones as well. “We want them to know their gift is an investment—and being used wisely,” Guise said.