(Photography by Peter Kiar)

A campaign built on values

President Robert J. Zimmer introduces the University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact, a major undertaking with transformative potential.

This is an important moment for the University of Chicago. We have now embarked upon the public phase of the most ambitious and comprehensive fundraising effort in our history—the University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact. This $4.5 billion endeavor supports the intellectual and educational initiatives articulated by our faculty and academic leadership. The campaign advances priorities throughout the University, including in the College, divisions, schools, institutes, library, and medical center. These priorities are designed to ensure the University’s continued and enhanced eminence, building on our extraordinary history and seeing the values that shaped that history manifest in new and exciting ways.

I encourage you to learn more about the UChicago Campaign—by reading Ensuring an Eminent Future: The University of Chicago Campaign Annual, mailed with this magazine, or online at campaign.uchicago.edu, where you can watch the campaign video, explore campaign priorities, and find out about upcoming campaign events around the world.

The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact is a major undertaking with transformative potential, made possible by the dedication and generosity of you, our alumni, parents, and friends. The quiet phase of the campaign generated 182,000 gifts totaling more than $2 billion, and these investments have already had a transformative effect on education and research at the University, not only in Hyde Park, but around the world.

Philanthropic investments by alumni, parents, and friends have deepened existing strengths, such as the Core curriculum in the College, scholarly contributions within the disciplines, and the expansion of our faculty. These gifts also have made possible innovative efforts, such as the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, the Institute for Molecular Engineering, and the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence. The University continues to expand its portfolio of research and related applications concerning urban challenges, its arts programs and facilities, and its new centers in Beijing, Delhi, and Hong Kong, among many other burgeoning initiatives.

Programmatic and financial support for students is a campaign priority across every segment of the University, ensuring that talented students from all backgrounds will be able to fully participate in educational opportunities. Graduate and professional student support helps the University continue to attract promising students and educate the next generation of leaders in the academy, the professions, and a wide range of significant human endeavors.

The College’s Odyssey Scholarship program, funded by a $100 million anonymous donation and matching gifts, has removed debt from the financial aid packages for College students from low- and moderate-income backgrounds. In addition, support through the UChicago Campaign will help drive a sweeping new initiative for undergraduate aid. Announced in October, No Barriers eliminates the need for student loans from need-based financial aid packages, removes application fees for all students applying for financial aid, simplifies the process for obtaining financial aid, and guarantees paid internships for students from low-income families during the summer after their first academic year.

The University’s distinctive culture of inquiry and analysis continues to draw to our Hyde Park campus, to affiliated laboratories, and to our global centers a diverse range of scholars, students, alumni, and leaders in policy and practice from around the world, all of whom add to the vitality of our community. The campaign supports this dynamic flow of visitors, enhancing the University’s role as an intellectual destination. This environment of rigorous, often interdisciplinary, collaboration is what drives the University’s consistent international leadership in education and research.

Thank you for your continued engagement with, advocacy of, and support for the University of Chicago.


It starts with a question: What difference can one idea, one person, one university make? We will find answers—and discover new questions—together.