Several years ago, the Viterbi School embarked on an ambitious initiative, “Destination the Future,” to raise $300 million in seven years, with at least half of the funds going to endowment. (See the 2008 Dean’s Report for details.) We surpassed our goals, but we cannot rest.
In this globally competitive environment we must be in a constant state of fundraising. Successful fundraising requires three deeply emotional donor states: affection, enchantment and trust – affection for the place, its heritage, its culture and its people; enchantment for its vision and its mission; and trust in its leadership. In some very special cases, the gift ties one’s legacy with the institution for generations to come.
In the span of seven years, the school was named after two wonderful human beings, Andrew and Erna Viterbi, was the recipient of four major department naming gifts (with three consecutive ones in the past three years) and two pioneering, institution-naming gifts that aim to alter engineering education and research.
We are blessed that thousands of individuals, alumni, corporations and foundations answered our call. Very fortunate that among them a select few tied their name and legacy to the school with acts of amazing generosity. But more than anything else, we are grateful for the affection, enchantment and trust of the extended Trojan family.
The impact of their gifts has been substantial. Our friends have seen a dramatic transformation in the Viterbi School and its place among global leaders in engineering education and research. We thank them for their generosity, and for the inspirational effect it has had on others, who will continue to invest in an even brighter Viterbi School future.