Tulane University surpasses fundraising mark, sets new goal

Almost four years ago, Tulane University publicly announced the most ambitious fundraising endeavor in its history — Only the Audacious, The campaign for an ever bolder Tulane.

Thanks to unprecedented support from alumni and friends across the globe, the campaign quickly surpassed its record-setting $1.3 billion goal. Now Tulane is setting its sights even higher. 

On Thursday, Nov. 11, Tulane announced a new goal of $1.5 billion that will build on the campaign’s extraordinary momentum in increasing funding for student scholarships, supporting pioneering research, recruiting world-class faculty and transforming the student experience across campuses for generations to come. Funds will also support equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives, robust financial aid, and research and internship opportunities for students.

Tulane President Michael A. Fitts said the extended campaign will focus on three areas critical to Tulane’s future — empowering the university-wide research enterprise, completing a new residential quad that will significantly enhance the on-campus living and learning experience for students and fueling a major expansion of the university’s downtown campus. 

“Tulanians have shown that when you think and dream big, you can reach further,” Fitts said. “Our purpose in setting a new campaign goal is to make a Tulane education available to more students, to transform undergraduate life with opportunities that educate the whole student and to expand our downtown campus to serve as an engine for research, innovation and discovery.”

Carol Lavin Bernick, chair of the Board of Tulane, the university’s main governing body, said the upward momentum is the result of an extraordinary group of alumni and supporters, driven by the vision and commitment of Tulane’s leadership. “Tulane’s ongoing surge of momentum is exhilarating! Alumni and friends alike are inspired by the groundbreaking research, top-quality students and faculty coupled with President Mike Fitts’ goal of fostering an academic environment that emphasizes path-breaking interdisciplinary research, innovative teaching and a holistic student experience,” Bernick said.

To date, Only the Audacious has engaged more than 60,200 alumni and raised more than $125 million in scholarship funding to help make a Tulane education more accessible to qualified students regardless of their economic background. Almost a quarter of all funds raised so far — more than $322.5 million — support cutting-edge research to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges in infectious diseases, cancer diagnostics, climate change science, data analytics, health disparities and much more.

Milestone achievements of the campaign include:

  • Funding nine of 10 Presidential Chairs to attract some of the world’s most renowned faculty members in biomedicine, coastal restoration, health equity, nanotechnology and emerging fields of discovery.  
  • Construction of the $73 million Yulman Stadium.
  • Building The Commons, a $55 million state-of-the-art dining facility in the heart of the uptown campus that is also a central meeting, studying and gathering place for students and the unified home of the Newcomb Institute.
  • Construction of Goldring/Woldenberg Business Complex, a $35 million project to unite the A.B. Freeman School of Business’s two buildings with more than 80,000 square feet of new or renovated space.
  • Establishing The John W. Deming Department of Medicine through a $25 million gift supporting physician-scientists working on clinical and translational research.
  • Founding Mussafer Hall, an undergraduate center for career programming, academic advising and success coaching.
  • Breaking ground on the Steven and Jann Paul Hall for Science and Engineering, a five-story, over 70,000-square-foot building that will include classrooms, labs and collaborative spaces for students studying engineering and life and physical sciences.

Ginny Wise, senior vice president for advancement, lauded the campaign’s co-chairs, longtime Tulane supporters Richard Yulman, Phyllis Taylor and Cathy and Hunter Pierson, the executive campaign council and the national campaign council for their guidance in making the campaign a success — and striving to keep the momentum going.

“We have had leaders from all across the country stepping up for Tulane, who have encouraged us to dream even bigger and continue to envision an even bolder future for the university — and they have been inspired by what we are accomplishing together because of their generosity and love for Tulane,” Wise said. 

Looking ahead, campaign fundraising will support a new residential quad currently under construction that will allow the university to expand innovative programs such as faculty-in-residence and residential learning communities. The new residential halls will enable Tulane to accommodate all first-, second and third-year undergraduate students on campus. 

The campaign will also support research by expanding and enhancing lab spaces, leveraging new programs and investments in data analytics, and growing clinical trials and translation research. These efforts will support 21st century research opportunities in climate, river and coastal sciences, emerging infectious diseases, healthy aging and health equity.

Tulane is planning a major expansion in the New Orleans’ downtown biomedical corridor in conjunction with efforts to bolster research in the health sciences. The university will play a significant role in the revitalization of Charity Hospital, filling a third of its space with laboratories, clinical space, classrooms, student housing and more.  

The goal is to place more labs and scientists together in an innovation district downtown where university discoveries can come to market faster, launch spinout companies, support community startup talent, and attract outside investment.

Campaign Milestones