Capital Campaign Plans Underway

Fundraising is in 'Quiet Phase'

Harvard is currently in the quiet phase of a multi-billion dollar capital campaign, which will aim to raise money for House renewal and development in Allston.

The total sum of the campaign—while so far undecided—could exceed Stanford University’s recent $4.3 billion campaign, according to senior Faculty of Arts and Sciences administrators and donors.

“It will obviously be a record-breaking number,” said a member of the Committee on University Resources (COUR), an advisory group of some of Harvard’s top donors.

Given the ambitious nature of the projects that are likely to be included in the campaign, one senior FAS administrator said that the campaign’s target figure would likely break fundraising records.

“It has to be very large, by nature of what we want to do,” the FAS administrator said.


Though Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development Tamara E. Rogers ’74 would not comment on whether or not Harvard’s eventual campaign would exceed Stanford’s recent fundraising effort, she said that the University would likely set a “very ambitious goal.”

Several individuals with knowledge of the capital campaign who were interviewed for this story were granted anonymity in order to preserve their relationship with the administration given that the quiet phase is not public.


According to administrators, House renewal—an ambitious project to renovate the College’s residential houses—has been identified as the campaign’s top priority, though development of Harvard’s Allston campus is also high on the list.

While administrators are unsure of the final cost of the House renewal project—one said that “I’ve seen so many numbers that I don’t know which ones apply anymore”—many said that the final cost could range from $1 billion to $1.3 billion.

In an interview yesterday, University President Drew G. Faust maintained her commitment to the process of House renewal, saying that “House renewal is going to happen.”

In particular, administrators have identified significant improvements to be made in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning of the buildings.

The College is also reviewing the April 2009 recommendations of the Housing Program Planning and Committee, which offered plans for revamping social spaces in the Houses and bringing the Houses up to fire, environmental, and accessibility standards.

Yale in recent years embarked on a major project to renovate its residential college system, which is similar to Harvard’s House system. Members of the COUR have toured Harvard’s Houses and have also visited Yale’s residential colleges, which some consider a model for the University’s own renovations.

“A group of us did a tour of the Harvard houses and some of the Yale colleges led by [FAS] Dean [Michael D.] Smith and we saw the difference. I think that the Harvard Houses have to be brought up to speed,” said one member of COUR.