The largest and most comprehensive fundraising effort in the history of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), the Make No Little Plans campaign, has exceeded its $50 million goal. The campaign officially began in 2015, and the public phase launched in September 2019 with a gala at the EKU Center for the Arts.
In a message to donors last week, Campaign Chair and Philanthropist Maribeth McBride Berman announced the campaign had secured more than $54 million in gifts, surpassing the $50 million goal.
“I would like to take this opportunity to say how proud I am that we have reached the campaign goal and to say thank you for helping us reach this milestone,” Berman said. “While we’ve met our initial goal, I know that with your help, we will create even more opportunities for students.”
The Make No Little Plans campaign focuses on support for academic excellence, student success, and campus revitalization. As a direct result of the campaign, academic programs and scholarships have been strengthened. The EKU Foundation’s endowment, funding student scholarships, grew from $60 million at the start of the campaign in 2015 to more than $92 million in 2021. Also since the start of the campaign, the number of students receiving Foundation scholarships has more than doubled to now nearly 2,000.
Donor-funded campus revitalization projects have included the addition of the Noel Reading Porch to the EKU Library, an addition and major renovation of the Jack Ison Sports Performance Center, a fountain in the Carloftis Garden, and the Berman Center for Professional Sales. Projects such as these enhance the “essential Eastern experience,” said EKU President Dr. David T. McFaddin.
“The Make No Little Plans campaign was the most ambitious in our university history, and it issued a challenge to change lives,” McFaddin said. “Because of donors who answered the call, this campaign is having a profound impact on our students.”
Throughout the campaign, numerous donors supported the development of specific programs and campus spaces. In total, more than 10,000 alumni, faculty and staff, community members and friends made commitments to EKU.
Indicating a continuation of the Make No Little Plans campaign, McFaddin said, “At Eastern, hitting the goal is never enough. Excellence is always about pushing to do more, and this campaign has so much more to accomplish.”
Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement Betina Gardner added, “When we launched the public phase of our campaign just a few years ago, we had no idea of the challenges to come as a result of the pandemic. However, our giving community responded with exceptional generosity and care for our beloved EKU. We are overwhelmed with gratitude and excited to see the perpetual impact and engagement of donors as a result of this campaign.”
The current total of $54,400,000 will continue to rise with the extension of the campaign. For more information about the Make No Little Plans campaign or to make a gift, visit campaign.eku.edu.