The University of Auckland has tonight launched the most ambitious fundraising campaign in New Zealand history, aiming to raise $300m to address critical challenges facing our communities.
The University of Auckland Campaign For All Our Futures, will be working with donors, alumni and other supporters to answer some of the biggest questions facing modern New Zealand society. For example, “Can we … dramatically improve cancer survival rates?” and “Can we … have the best school system in the world?”
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon said: “Future generations will have to face challenges that now seem intractable – climate change, unequal access to health care and education, the emergence of new diseases, an ageing population.
“Research universities such as ours have a unique role to play in creating a better future. Only we undertake the twin tasks of generating new knowledge and providing education to the highest levels for our young people. As New Zealand’s leading research university, we are committed to ensuring we focus our attention on the important questions that will be critical to all our futures.”
In the lead up to the public launch event, $152m has already been secured in gifts and pledges from individuals, families, trusts and businesses to support a wide variety of specific projects and research.
A series of donations were highlighted on the night: $23.7m to medicine including $2.5m from Auckland Medical Research Foundation for a ‘scholars fund’ to recruit talented medical academics globally; $9m to business and innovation including $1m donations from PwC and Chau Hoi Sheun Foundation from Hong Kong, together with a substantial donation from Beca, to drive innovation including the establishment of the ‘PotentiaLab’, where students can prototype their ideas before taking them to market; 7m for the environment including $5m from long-standing supporter George Mason and his Trust to establish a Centre for the Natural Environment, whose aim will be to restore our iconic natural environment; $2.6m to education including $1.6m from the Woolf Fisher Trust to improve maths teaching in primary schools; and a substantial donation from the Chartwell Trust to support creativity in business and society.
Some of the questions the University and its supporters aim to address include:
As a second goal, the University has committed to actively engaging with over half of its 200,000 alumni during the course of the campaign through a range of volunteer and advocacy opportunities to advance its work for New Zealand.
“New Zealanders will benefit for decades to come from the outcomes of this campaign,” adds Professor McCutcheon.
The University aims to complete the Campaign For All Our Futures by 2020. The funds raised will go to research projects, academic fellowships, staff positions and student scholarships, aligned with specific campaign projects related to the big questions.