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Largest Campaign in Haverford History Launches with Record-Breaking Gift

Two weeks ago, Haverford announced its latest financial campaign: “Lives That Speak.” The campaign has been in a quiet phase since July 2010, while the public phase was launched on October 25 during Family and Friends Weekend.

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The campaign has drawn attention for two main reasons. Firstly, it is Haverford’s biggest campaign ever, with a goal of raising $225 million. This ambitious goal sets Haverford up to match some of the most competitive fundraising goals of Haverford’s peer institutions such as Williams and Amherst. The second reason this campaign has received a lot of attention is that the public launch was paired with an announcement of a $25 million gift, the largest in Haverford history, donated by Howard Lutnick ’83, the chair of Haverford’s Board of Managers.

Lutnick delivered a moving speech after his gift was announced by Dan Weiss. He cited the “beautiful quest” that Haverford is on to “educate the whole” as the reason for his continued support of Haverford. Lutnick recognized Haverford’s accomplishment of producing “good human beings” that go out into the world and make it a better place.

This idea connects to the name of the campaign. “Lives That Speak” is a Quaker saying dating back to George Fox, the founder of the Religious Society of Friends, which says that one should not only have values, but live them as well. This campaign seeks to continue to facilitate the education of individuals so they may go out into the world and live the values they learn at Haverford in whatever path they choose to pursue.

Dan Weiss articulated that this campaign is “respectful of who we are, draws on the great strengths of this college and is forward-looking in the ways in which it will allow us in many ways to reinvent what we do without loosing those core values.”

Some of the big changes that this campaign hopes to accomplish will be renovating Magill Library (renovations would include a 24-hour café, a digital scholarship commons and renovations to special collections), transforming Old Ryan Gym into a visual learning space, revitalizing Roberts Hall to provide an atrium lobby before entering a recital/rehearsal space that would overlook the Duck Pond, and lastly, renovating Sharpless. All of these renovations are focused on creating more spaces for collaboration, creativity, and incorporation of technology. The rest of the funds will go to expanding the curriculum, financial aid, campus programs (such as OAR), and the endowment. The rest will go to unrestricted funds.

These changes came out of the strategic plan, which include the campus master plan and the blueprint for academic excellence. Ann Figueredo ’84, the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, stated that the campaign seeks to “fund the priorities of the college by advancing the strategic plan on all fronts in a meaningful way.”

The campaign resonates strikingly with the identity of the college. All of the changes focus on allowing students to develop the skills and values that will allow them to live “lives that speak.” Every aspect of the campaign, from campus changes to expansion of financial aid, seeks to help promote not only academic rigor, but also the values that give the Haverford community such a strong sense of self.

“Haverford is unique in the sense that it is both really committed to academic excellence and to the development of values and character,” said Figueredo. “Those things don’t happen by accident. They are deeply rooted in who we are and this campaign is about deeply investing in those assets to make sure that they continue in a current, relevant context.”

The campaign’s mission, as Howard Lutnick said, is to be “the best Haverford we can be!” In other words: to continue to be a value-infused community that promotes the development of ethics, while simultaneously being an institution of the highest academic excellence.