Students and faculty at commencement holding up Thank You signs

Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas raises more than $1.6 billion

Students and faculty at commencement holding up Thank You signs
Far Above is the largest higher education fundraising effort to date in the state.

The largest higher education fundraising effort to date in the state, Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, raised $1.66 billion, far exceeding its $1.2 billion goal. The campaign, which ended June 30, boosted student support, faculty, facilities and programs at the University of Kansas and The University of Kansas Hospital. 

Among the campaign’s notable accomplishments were 735 new scholarships and fellowships, 53 new professorships and 16 new buildings or major renovations. Others included achieving National Cancer Institute designation and strengthening a wide range of pioneering academic and research programs.

Fundraising for the campaign began in July 2008, in the middle of the Great Recession, and it had a public kickoff in April 2012. More than 131,000 donors—49 percent of them new donors—from all 50 states and 59 countries made gifts.

“The success of Far Above is a testament to the confidence our alumni and friends have in KU,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “Every gift sent a message that our donors want to elevate KU to greater heights. Their generosity touched virtually every aspect of the university by funding new facilities, supporting future leaders and enabling our faculty to push the bounds of discovery.”

The majority of gifts were designated for specific purposes by donors inspired by the campaign’s priorities: to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future. 

Campaign chairs were 1975 alumni Kurt and Sue Watson of Andover. “It was our privilege to work with devoted volunteers and donors around the country who love the University of Kansas,” Kurt Watson. "The success of Far Above is a shining moment in the history of KU and our state. Because of this campaign, KU can continue to make a difference far into the future.”

Bob Page, president and CEO of The University of Kansas Hospital, said private donors have been inspired by the hospital’s vision to lead the nation in caring, healing, teaching and discovering. “On the strength of donor contributions, we are providing patients more advanced, innovative care and saving more lives in our region and across the nation.”

Of the total amount contributed, $1.36 billion came in outright gifts and pledges, and $300 million in future bequest expectancies, said Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment. “Comprehensive campaigns such as Far Above represent major milestones in the university’s history. The KU community has rallied in a spectacular way to make this campaign a success,” Seuferling said.

The campaign was managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university. The University of Kansas Hospital is a partner in philanthropy with KU Endowment.

Far Above Facts

16—New buildings or major renovations

KU and KU Medical Center:
− Capitol Federal Hall
− DeBruce Center
− The Forum at Marvin Hall
− Health Education Building
− Hill Engineering Research and Development Center
− KU Clinical Research Center
− LEEP2 Engineering Center
− Lied Center Pavilion
− Marie S. McCarthy Hall
− Ritchie Hall
− Slawson Hall
− Spencer Museum of Art renovation
− Swarthout Recital Hall renovation
− Zamierowski Institute for Experiential Learning

The University of Kansas Hospital:
− Bloch Cancer Care Pavilion
− Cambridge North Tower 

53—New professorships in a wide range of fields

735—New scholarships, fellowships and student awards

$58 million—Largest campaign gift, from late alumni Al and Lila Self

87 percent—Proportion of gifts $500 or less

75 percent—Increase in faculty/staff donors

571,000—Total number of gifts

49 percent—New donors

53 percent—Proportion of gifts from Kansas residents

$523 million—Amount raised for student support

$451 million—Amount raised for programs

$447 million—Amount raised for faculty

$240 million—Amount raised for facilities



Michelle Keller

Assistant Vice President, Communications and Donor Relations 785-832-7336

Michelle Strickland

Media Relations 785-832-7363