By Jeff McClellan
“This is a people campaign,” says Carol Minor, volunteer chair of the annual gifts committee for the campaign. “Most of the money for this campaign goes for people—for students and for professors.”
That, for Minor, is one of the strengths of the campaign. For the most part, donors aren’t being asked to build buildings or buy books; they’re being asked to help make a difference in people’s lives through the three campaign priorities: teach more students, enhance educational quality, and extend BYU’s influence.
Teach More Students
“BYU is a unique experience,” says BYU President Merrill J. Bateman. “The data show that this university has a lifetime impact on those who come here. Its influence is not just during the critical years students are on campus, but it extends throughout life as spiritual roots are strengthened. To the extent we can benefit more young men and women, I think it will pay huge dividends for the Church as well as for the individual members.”
Among the major efforts to teach more students has been a focus on timely graduation. By encouraging students to graduate in less time, the university will allow other students the opportunity to come. The campaign will help remove some of the obstacles students face in timely graduation by providing more scholarships and grants and adding 35 faculty positions for bottleneck general education courses, freshman classes, and spring and summer terms.
On the Hawaii campus, the campaign will allow about 100 more international students to come on sponsorship each year. BYU–Hawaii has a specific mission to serve the Pacific and Asian Rim countries, but many of the students from those regions cannot afford the costs of a university education. Sponsorships, which factor in the family contribution and require the students to work part-time, are the only way many of these students can come to BYU.
The total goal for this priority is $78.6 million.
Enhance Educational Quality
“The funds from the capital campaign can help us provide opportunities for faculty and students to improve educational quality and to fulfill the destiny of the university, which is to become a leader in the major academic disciplines,” says President Bateman.
With the largest total goal of the three priorities, $105.3 million, this priority will provide funding for faculty development and professorships to improve the quality of teaching on both campuses of BYU. This priority will also help a variety of education-enhancing programs, including the expansion of libraries and funding for the Benson Institute, the Skaggs Ranch, the Bean Museum, the Lytle Preserve, and the Museum of Art. In addition, this priority includes several centers of learning and scholarship.
Extend BYU’s Influence
“I believe the university plays a unique role in the kingdom, both in terms of gathering and retention,” President Bateman says. “Students deepen their understanding of the gospel and commitment to the kingdom while they are here. And as the university widens its geographical circle and leaders and citizens in other countries see the quality of our graduates, they will want to know more about the university and more about the Church. That’s been proven in the past, and it will continue to be true in the future.”
To expand BYU’s international influence, funds from the campaign will go toward studies and centers with an international and language focus, eight new language faculty members, scholarships for international students, and support for touring performing arts groups. This priority also includes building university and college endowments to provide for future opportunities.
Extending BYU’s influence also includes better serving members of the Church who cannot attend BYU. To that end, this priority includes funding for extending educational opportunities to Church members through satellite downlinks. This priority’s goal is $66.1 million, bringing the total goal to $250 million.
Through the three campaign priorities, BYU and its donors can make a difference, says McClain Bybee, assistant advancement vice president for development. “We extend an invitation to be involved in a partnership in one of the most exciting causes on the face of this earth, and that’s to build the kingdom of God, to save and change people’s lives.”