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Special Collections and Archives and other priorities and projects shape next stage in fundraising for VCU Libraries

August 29, 2017

After record-breaking success in philanthropy in recent years that supports the expanded Cabell Library, VCU Libraries' leadership announces the next stage in its fundraising efforts to establish the future of the VCU Libraries: The Campaign for VCU Libraries. This new stage of the campaign focuses on specific priorities and projects.

Going forward, priorities include an endowment for Special Collections and Archives, a focus on the health sciences library, creation of a multifaith meditation space and other exciting opportunities.  

“We intend to build on our past success in raising funds for the new building,” said Stephanie Holt, BS ‘74/E, president of Friends of VCU Libraries, referring to the 2016 opening of an expanded Cabell Library.

VCU Libraries achieved record-breaking success in philanthropy in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years. Broad-based support from a diverse community of alumni, community members, faculty, staff, and students not only contributed financially in ways that will benefit generations of students to come, but also raised awareness of the impact VCU’s libraries have on both campuses and, in the process, created an active culture of giving. "We are so grateful to see the work of VCU Libraries and its important role at the university and in the community recognized with this vast outpouring of philanthropy," said University Librarian John E. Ulmschneider.

Just under 450 new gifts and pledges received over 18 months years helped VCU Libraries meet a $1 million matching grant from the Cabell Foundation, instantly doubling the impact of hundreds of gifts. In addition, in the last 2 years VCU Libraries set new records in annual fund gifts that support outstanding cultural programming efforts, and secured significant new support from staff and faculty donations. Fundraising efforts to name spaces in the expanded James Branch Cabell Library were successful and continue to be a source of recognition for generous donors.

Although VCU’s new library is finished and flooded with students and faculty, the work to create the world-class research library VCU needs for its success is far from over.

“Now we must shift the fundraising focus to endowments and new projects that help us meet the full promise of our new library building and ensure that we can acquire the distinctive collections and recruit the librarians and staff that a great university deserves,” Ulmschneider said.

Adds Kelly Gotschalk, director of development and major gifts for VCU Libraries, “The success of VCU Libraries in the last two years has been spectacular. While we had immediate success with meeting some needs of the new building and with our Library of the Future Endowment, many more needs remain to be met. Key among these is to build an endowment for Special Collections and Archives that will allow for purchasing in specialized areas for research and teaching. Furthermore, there are still numerous improvements that we need to make to Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus and Tompkins-McCaw on the MCV Campus.”

To learn more about needs and priorities for 2017-18 and beyond, contact Kelly Gotschalk in the devleopment office. 

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