Clemson University capital campaign surpasses goal, tops $1.06 billion


CLEMSON — Clemson University’s 10-year capital campaign, “The Will to Lead,” has surpassed its billion-dollar goal with a total of $1,062,528,346 as of June 30.

Clemson President James P. Clements declared it the most successful capital campaign in the university’s history and the largest goal ever achieved by a public university with an alumni base less than 150,000.

The final campaign number is revealed on stage at an event. The number on the banner reads $1,062,528,346.
Image Credit: Clemson University

“Our alumni and donors have made this the largest fundraising effort in the history of South Carolina,” he said. “Completing this campaign is an incredible milestone for Clemson, and it is a true testament to the loyalty and dedication of our alumni, donors, corporate partners and friends. I am extremely grateful to all those who made gifts that will positively impact our students, faculty and staff for generations to come.

“At the end of the day, that’s what it is all about — making a difference for our students. This unprecedented support will live on, ensuring a strong Clemson today, tomorrow and forever,” Clements said.

The Will to Lead: A Campaign for Clemson supported students, faculty and staff by providing scholarships, fellowships and professorships and by enhancing learning and research opportunities with top-of-the-line facilities and technology.

During the campaign period, 682 new scholarships and fellowships were created, 26 professorships and endowed chair positions were established, and numerous academic and athletic facilities have been renovated, built or are under construction. There were 375,141 unique gifts to the campaign, 403 planned gifts committed during this timeframe and 130 donors made cumulative gifts of $1 million or more.

Additional campaign achievements include increasing the university’s endowment by $212 million to bring it to $625 million, increasing annual giving for academic programs, providing funding for new or renovated construction and expanding athletic facilities.

Private gifts to the university for the 2015-16 fiscal year, and final year of the campaign, produced record-breaking results with total gifts of $149 million as of June 30. Of that, $56,829,541 came from IPTAY and alumni participation was strong at 23,576 donors and 23 percent.

Smyth McKissick of Greenville, a 1979 Clemson graduate and current chairman of the school’s board of trustees, also chaired the national campaign committee throughout the public phase.

“The Will to Lead campaign has been a game-changer for Clemson in so many ways,” said McKissick. “This student-centered campaign has created life-changing opportunities for the young men and women who attend our university, and it has provided unprecedented support for our faculty and staff. The campaign has united the Clemson family as never before in support of the common goal of making Clemson better and our students the best they can be.”

Brian O’Rourke, vice president of development and alumni relations, summed up the extraordinary achievement: “We broke every record and surpassed every goal but these amazing results are only part of the story. Through this campaign, the Clemson family came together like never before. Hundreds of volunteer leaders and staff worked tirelessly to make this goal a reality and to lead our University like never before. Through their efforts we have greater capacity to transform the lives of students in our state, nation and beyond by providing an exceptional Clemson experience and education.”

To learn more about the impact of the 10-year fundraising effort, go to


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