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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Donation Boycott Not Pinching Notre Dame Too Badly


Amidst all the angst over the University's invitation to have President Obama speak at Commencement, there arose a groundswell of popular sentiment against making any donations to Notre Dame until and unless Our Lady's University forsook her evil ways and began adhering more devoutly to the policies and proscriptions of the Catholic Church. The "boycott", which received a lot of gratuitous coverage from a press corps that loves a good inter-family squabble among conservatives, would hit Father Jenkins and the administration where it really hurts - in the wallet! By withholding untold millions of dollars in donations the protesters would bring Notre Dame to its knees and bend her to their orthodox will!

NOT!

The University announced yesterday that it had exceeded it's very ambitious goal of raising $1.5 Billion dollars through the "Spirit of Notre Dame" campaign two years early. According to the press release:

The University of Notre Dame has surpassed the $1.5 billion goal of the “Spirit of Notre Dame” campaign more than two years ahead of schedule, raising $1.54 billion in gifts and pledges as of June 22.

The largest fund-raising effort in the history of Catholic higher education, “Spirit” was launched publicly May 5, 2007, and will end June 30, 2011. The most comprehensive campaign in Notre Dame’s history, “Spirit” is structured to provide significant financial support to four primary pillars of the University’s life: the undergraduate educational experience, research and graduate studies, diversity and international studies, and Catholic intellectual life.

[...]

“We are humbled by the generosity of those who have contributed to the success of the ‘Spirit’ campaign,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “Our challenge now is to build upon this success to fully fund all of the priorities. In doing so, we can advance our vision to remain fully committed to our Catholic identity, provide an exceptional undergraduate experience, and become one of the nation’s pre-eminent research universities.”

Congratulations to Father Jenkins and the entire Notre Dame community on reaching this important milestone, which will help the University move into the 21st century with confidence despite the current global economic turmoil.

6 comments:

Andy said...

Interesting intersection of events, the fulfillment of a major fund-raising effort on the heels of the tumult caused by the President's visit. Since Fr. Jenkins often said that honoring a pro-abortion President does not "indicate any ambiguity about Notre Dame's commitment to Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life," will Notre Dame back up Fr. Jenkins' words with actions? Will any of the $1.5billion be used by Notre Dame in any way to advance its "commitment" to teaching the sancity of human life?

Just wondering if Fr. Jenkins considers this a "priority."

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that the vast majority of the $1.5 Billion was PLEDGED way before the Obama situation. Now the key questions to ask are: 1) Is the current donation/pledge rate significantly different from the same rate before the invitation to Obama? and 2) What will be the percentage of donors who pledged before the Obama situation, but fail to actually "write the check" afterwards?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but that doesn't include the $6.4 Gajillion dollars that I was all set to donate before Obama's visit. Where is the press coverage of me backing out of that rock-solid commitment?

Anonymous said...

What first anonymous said.

....and as one of THOSE alumni who pledged not to give, the Obama effect was the reason.

In addition I had provisions for ND in my estate when both my wife and I were deceased.

I did NOT include this amount when promising to withold funds.

While not huge it was an impressive enough sum of money.

Anecdotally therefore, I suspect the "replace jenkins" group is likely understating those amounts.

Lastly, the hit in the ND Endowment will be another lasting effect of Obamanomics...
That Endowment "hit" will have to be made up with at least some greater fundraising.

Jack said...

Probably, many of the Endowment Funds that ND have gone down like the stock market. At least at Harvard that is the case! Maybe invite Pabst Benedikt XVI to speak at the next graduation..

wsmitheGH said...

This was very interesting indeed. What would the pope have to say about this?!?!


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