Williams, via Ephnotes, just sent out an e-mail saying that even though The Williams Campaign has raised its stated goal of $400 million (18 months ahead of schedule), it’s going to keep raising money for the capital fund for the next 18 months.

For those of you who figure the college said, “Hey, we’re on a roll, let’s keep going”–which it did, of course–I can tell you that this was a considered decision. Over a year ago it started to become clear that the fundraising was taking a hockey stick trajectory that was not in the plan. At one of the Vice Chair meetings of the Alumni Fund, Steve Birrell described how well the fundraising was going. Since it was clear that the Campaign would hit its goal at least a year ahead of schedule, I asked the question, “So what’s the college going to do? Declare victory early or keep going?”


Steve grimaced and made some comment like, “Geez, Guy, I knew you were going to ask that question”–along the lines of, I was hoping I could dodge that question this time, since it’s a bit early to say.

But, to give Steve his due, he didn’t duck it. He said, “At this point, we aren’t sure.” He went on to say that the college had the two options. On the side of continuing the fundraising was the fact that the college’s goals had become more aggressive over time, and that it would be worthwhile to keep going with the apparatus in place. If the fundraising is going well, and there are valid uses for the money (not just putting more in the bank), it would be a shame to put the brakes on.

Nevertheless, stopping the fundraising would give the alumni a breather, an important point since part of what gives a capital campaign its urgency is the fact that it is a special occasion and doesn’t go on forever. Furthermore, the college is well aware that a lot of people think the college has enough money already, and stopping the fund early would give those folks less ammunition to claim that.

So, after some internal debate, Williams has decided to keep going.

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