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Fearless Ideas Campaign Reaches $1.5B Goal

Record-setting Fundraising Effort Supported by More Than 110,000 Donors

By Maryland Today Staff

GIF of Testudo crossing a finish line, surrounded by confetti

The University of Maryland has reached its goal of raising a record $1.5 billion during its multiyear fundraising effort, Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland. This ambitious effort supports students, faculty, research, the arts and athletics.

The campaign, which reached its goal four months early, succeeded through the generosity of 117,046 donors, including 73,437 first-time donors. Among all campaign donors, 52% were Maryland alums. The university will use these funds to invest in world-renowned faculty, support capital projects, provide scholarships and co-curricular programs for students, and innovate and expand pioneering programs.

Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland has been a campaign of ideas and promise, inclusion and opportunity,” said UMD President Darryll J. Pines. “Thanks to our generous donors, we discovered new knowledge, inspired Maryland pride, turned imagination into innovation, and transformed the student experience. Together with our faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, we proudly celebrate this extraordinary milestone at the University of Maryland. We did it together, and we are proud of all that we have achieved through Fearless Ideas.”

During the campaign, which launched publicly in 2018, the university received several significant gifts toward its $1.5 billion goal—including the historic $219.5 million Building Together: An Investment for Maryland from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. It established the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise Program (MPP), which with UMD provides matching support enabling donors to double their impact, and, when completed, will fund $100 million in new scholarships. MPP provides educational and financial opportunities to promising undergraduate students from Maryland and Washington, D.C., who exhibit strong academic and leadership potential.

“We have deep appreciation for Maryland’s true champions, who are transforming the lives of our students through giving,” said Vice President for University Relations Brodie Remington. “This was a collective effort among the campaign co-chairs and other volunteers who worked together to engage the UMD community, alumni, parents and friends of the university. We are extremely grateful for the many donors who supported our campaign and most importantly, supported the success of our students and faculty, research and facilities.”

During the campaign, donors contributed:

  • More than $334 million to support student initiatives, including 869 new student scholarships and nearly $2 million since the start of the pandemic for the Student Crisis Fund, which provides Maryland students with emergency financial support for housing, utilities and other necessities.
  • More than $335 million to support faculty, including endowed professorships, chairs and discretionary funding.

Six new facilities and a number of new capital and renovation projects, including A. James Clark Hall, the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering, the School of Public Policy building, the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center, Jones-Hill House, the E.A. Fernandez IDEA Factory, the Campus Pantry, the Feller Center for Advising & Career Planning, Gossett Hall and an outdoor art exhibition space named for Nancy and Chuck Clarvit.

Additionally, campaign gifts and commitments helped to more than double the university’s endowment.

"As we commemorate the successful conclusion of the Fearless Ideas fundraising campaign, I am filled with gratitude,” said Alma Gildenhorn, ‘53, campaign co-chair. “Over the last seven years, thousands of donors invested in the human potential at Maryland, because like me, they understand that education opens doors to a future filled with opportunity to strengthen and improve our world. And so, we have opened up our hearts to our students who have persevered through so much hardship and adversity. Through this harmonious effort, a vital segment of our Fearless Ideas campaign, we salute Maryland, its students and all that it is poised to achieve."

Other campaign co-chairs and honorary co-chairs were Albert Carey ’74, Barry Gossett ’62, William E. “Brit” Kirwan, Karen Levenson ’76, Craig Thompson ’92, ’95, Courtney Clark Pastrick, Brendan Iribe ’01 and Kevin Plank ’96.

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