Passing a Major Milestone

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With one year remaining, The Oxy Campaign For Good propels past the $225 million mark

Fueled by support from foundations and individuals—and a second fruitful Legacy Gift Challenge—The Oxy Campaign For Good propelled over the $225 million mark in April, just days before the Inauguration of President Harry J. Elam, Jr.

Elam announced the campaign milestone in his Inaugural address, quipping, “Not many presidents can say they met a comprehensive campaign goal before they were even inaugurated!”

As of June 30, 2022—the close of Oxy’s fiscal year—more than $231.2 million has been raised in gifts and commitments to the campaign, including $39.6 million in the last 12 months. Gifts to the Oxy Fund, which supports the College's current operations, raised more $5 million.

Through outright gifts, pledges, and bequests, it is estimated that the campaign will have contributed over $100 million to the endowment, which (prior to the recent swoon in the Dow Jones Industrial Average) climbed well north of $500 million. In the long term, it is estimated that the campaign will boost the endowment principal by about 20 percent. “It gives the College a chance to envision its long-range future in a really hopeful way,” says Charlie Cardillo, vice president of institutional advancement.

Among other notable campaign achievements:

  •  On April 20, Day For Oxy generated $1,517,161 from 2,104 donors over the 36-hour giving window, surpassing its donor goal of 2,022 gifts. Among individual classes, the Class of 1972 (which celebrated its 50th reunion in June) led the way with $51,530 from 34 donors. In athletics, men's soccer raised $53,100 from 61 donors to take the gold.
  • The second annual Legacy Gift Challenge secured 28 newly documented planned gifts totaling $7.7 million. That builds on last year's initial challenge, which produced $7.38 million in previously undocumented planned gifts from more than two dozen members of the Oxy community. All totaled, another $550,000 was contributed to the Oxy Fund through an incentive program backed by Gil Kemp P’04 and Mike Gibby ’68 in 2020-21, and Kemp, Gary Kaplan ’71, and Karen Casner ’74 and Steve Casner ’73 in 2021-22. (Steve Casner passed away on July 4—an obituary will appear in the Fall 2022 issue.)
  • Nearly two out of five alumni have made at least one gift to Oxy since the start of the campaign. A goal of 38 percent alumni participation was set prior to the start of the campaign. Through June 30, 37.5 percent of alumni have made one or more gifts to the effort.
  • Almost $4 million has been raised toward a goal of $6.4 million in new gifts to create the Edgerton-Occidental Merit Scholarship Program, a $9.6 million endowed fund that will make it possible for talented middle-income California students to attend Occidental for the same cost as attending the University of California. Initial funding for the scholarship challenge comes from a $1.6 million gift from trustee Louise D. Edgerton ’67 M’69 and her husband, Brad, matched by $1.6 million from the College’s quasi-endowment. Raising funds for student scholarships is the campaign’s top priority.

In addition to raising endowment dollars toward scholarships, professorships, and faculty directorships, other fundraising priorities in the coming year include a multi-million expansion and modernization of Norris Hall of Chemistry (first built in 1961, and renovated about 30 years later), as well as future efforts to support Oxy’s burgeoning Music, Media Arts and Culture, and Computer Science departments.