Five years and $476.5 million later, Harvard Law School has wrapped up its "Setting the Standard" fundraising campaign. The drive is the most lucrative fundraiser of any law school to date, according to Harvard, and leaders celebrated its success at a gala on Thursday. "I am deeply grateful to the more than 23,000 alumni and friends who joined in this effort," Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan said in a prepared statement. "They know how special a place Harvard Law School is and how transformational it can be, and they have enabled us to do more for our students, our profession, and our world than ever before." Kagan also said the fundraising campaign has allowed the school to augment financial assistance for students, expand the faculty and facilities, modernize and internationalize its curriculum and encourage public service.
The campaign was launched in 2003 with a goal of $400 million in donations, which it ultimately surpassed by $76.5 million. The fundraising got off to a very promising start, as former dean Robert Clark had already secured $170.1 million in commitments before it officially began. Harvard Law School faculty spent three years developing a plan for the campaign, which was intended to boost financial aid, grow the faculty and design and construct a major new building complex, among other things. The donations from the campaign are being used to support research centers that focus on environmental law, health law policy, human rights law, cyber law and corporate governance.
Exchange programs with foreign universities are also being funded with the donations, as is the school's program to waive third-year tuition for students who work in public service for five years after graduation. In addition to the $476.5 million generated by the targeted campaign, the school has raised more than $60 million during the past five years for the Harvard Law School Fund. That fund is unrestricted and can be used for student financial or other law school projects. Harvard Law School's last major fundraising drive raised $183 million between 1991 and 1995. by nlj.com