Making History: The Campaign for GW
In June, GW celebrated the public launch of Making History: The Campaign for GW, a $1 billion comprehensive campaign to support the bold institutional goals set forth in the university’s strategic plan, Vision: 2021. Slated to be completed in June 2018, the Campaign, which began with a quiet phase in July 2011, has already raised more than $550 million from 46,000 students, alumni, parents, and friends.
Making History, the largest fundraising campaign in GW’s history, will help to make the university’s vision a reality. Put forth in 2013 by Provost Steven Lerman with the support of President Steven Knapp and the GW Board of Trustees, GW’s strategic plan outlines four pillars—innovation through cross-disciplinary collaboration, globalization, governance and policy, and citizenship and leadership—that will transform GW into a top-tier, world-class research institution.
Funds raised throughout the campaign will support students with scholarships and funding for student organizations and internship opportunities; enhance academics by recruiting and retaining top faculty and developing interdisciplinary initiatives; and break new ground through enhanced facilities and interdisciplinary research.
“The public launch of Making History: The Campaign for GW marks an exciting time in the university’s history,” said Geneva Henry, Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian. “The GW Libraries play a significant role in the academic enterprise. Funds raised in support of the Libraries during this campaign will enable the libraries to help the GW community to explore, create, and discover information in new ways through tools, spaces, consultations, collaboration, and special collections.”
The quality and capacity of the GW Libraries are key to fulfilling the university’s ambitions. Our resources support each of GW’s 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students, all faculty members, and every academic program across GW’s campuses, providing a genuine interdisciplinary research center for the university. To expand our ability to meet this growing need, the GW Libraries have an ambitious fundraising goal during the Campaign: $35 million in new funding to secure resources for scholarship, facilitate discovery and dissemination, and create a learning environment for the 21st century.
Secure Resources for Scholarship
As the university advances its interdisciplinary research agenda, the GW Libraries must respond to the changing landscape of information, being sensitive to both traditional and emergent modes of communication. The university’s recent agreement with the Corcoran College of Art + Design, for example, creates an immediate need to enhance our holdings in the fine arts to better support a range of new programs, including photography, graphic design, and arts education.
As the official opening of the new Science and Engineering Hall in 2015 approaches, increased access to technical and research journals becomes ever more essential to foster collaboration between disciplines. In addition, the acquisition of special collections, containing rare and unique materials, enables the GW Libraries to build archival collections that exist nowhere else. Organization, preservation, and digitization of these research materials is necessary to ensure that users can find what they need, but the process is time-intensive and requires specialized expertise. Continuing to secure new resources for scholarship is fundamental to the university’s academic enterprise.
Facilitate Discovery and Dissemination
In today’s technology-enhanced world, facilitating the discovery of valid and reliable information, as well as disseminating academic resources to the GW community, is crucial. The GW Libraries must recruit and retain the best talent to assist students and collaborate with faculty in research, as well as use their specialized expertise to uncover information that might otherwise remain invisible or inaccessible. Rapidly-evolving technology creates an additional need for equipment, software, and training so that the library can nimbly respond to the growing demands of our world-class students and faculty. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, 3-D printers, and data visualization walls assist researchers in developing a deeper understanding of the world around them and help them to build connections between disciplines.
Creating a Learning Environment for the 21st Century
The GW Libraries are continually evolving our physical spaces to better meet the needs of our students and faculty. The popularity of the renovated entrance floor at Gelman Library, which opened last year, shows the impact that modernization and advanced technology has on library users. Additional renovations to create new collaborative and individual study spaces, including technology enhanced group study rooms, are necessary in Gelman Library, Eckles Library on the Mount Vernon Campus, and the Virginia Science and Technology Campus Library. Updating the functionality and aesthetics of the university’s library facilities will elevate the GW Libraries to modern standards and enable us to compete more effectively with other universities for the best students.
The intellectual powerhouse of a great university is its libraries. Through your support of the GW Libraries, you can have an impact on every student, researcher, and faculty member at the George Washington University. Join us on our journey to fulfill our strategic goals and the university’s vision to become a top-tier, world-class research institution.
For more information about how you can help advance the GW Libraries’ initiatives as part of Making History: The Campaign for GW, please contact Tracy Sullivan, Interim Executive Director of Development at the GW Libraries, at 202-994-8928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.