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American Technion Society finishes $1 billion campaign

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The American Technion Society announced Monday that it had completed a 14-year $1 billion fund raising campaign for the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, despite the difficult economy over the past two years.

The campaign, which was topped off by a recent $20 million gift from Nancy and Stephen Grand was only 8 months behind schedule, according to a release from the ATS.

Launched in 1996, the ATS has garnered some huge gifts from a number of well-known Jewish donors: 

  • $50 million from Lorry I. Lokey for the Lorry I. Lokey Interdisciplinary Center for Life Sciences and Engineering
  • $30 million from Dr. and Mrs. Irwin Jacobs for the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Graduate School
  • $26 million from the Russell Berrie Foundation for the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
  • $15 million from the Kahn Family Foundation for the D. Dan Kahn & Betty Kahn Mechanical Engineering Building
  • $13.9 million from the estate of Louis Edelstein for various projects
  • $13.8 million from Alfred E. Mann for the Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development
  • $10 million from Henry and Marilyn Taub for the Leaders in Science and Technology Program and faculty recruitment
  • $10 million from Stephen and Nancy Grand for the Stephen and Nancy Grand Water Research Institute
  • $10 million from the Gabriel and Matilda Barnett Trust for various projects

We’ll try to get more for the newsletter about how exactly the ATS was able to keep its fund raising relatively on track during the past two years.

In the meantime, here is the release.

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$1 Billion Campaign Completed Despite Tough Times

NEW YORK, NY, June 14, 2010 – The American Technion Society (ATS) has successfully completed its $1 billion “Shaping Israel’s Future” campaign. This was the largest campaign ever for an American organization raising funds for Israeli higher education, and one of the largest among American universities; only some 29 major American universities have billion dollar campaigns.

Despite the difficult fund-raising environment prevailing during the campaign’s last two years, completion was only eight months behind schedule. Launched in 1996, the campaign was completed with a $20 million gift from Nancy and Stephen Grand of San Francisco to create the Nancy and Stephen Grand Technion Energy Program (GTEP) — a campus-wide quest for alternative energy.

“Given the economy back then and our experience over decades, our plan did not include a major recession,” noted Joel Rothman, ATS national president. “Nevertheless, thanks to thousands of devoted supporters across the United States and a hard-working core of volunteer and professional leaders and the world-renowned work of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, we have — despite historic challenges — achieved a breathtaking goal.”

Long-term strategic planning and across-the-board determination to overcome economic setbacks also played key roles in completing the campaign, added Melvyn H. Bloom, ATS executive vice president. 

“People understand that a gift to our cause is an investment in Israel’s future, its security and in life-changing Technion research that helps people worldwide,” Mr. Bloom said. “During the darkest days of the recession, we determined that we would pursue and meet our established goals because the alternative was not acceptable.”

The funds raised have helped the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology “advance in multiple immeasurable ways,” said Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie.

During this campaign, ATS donors have changed the face of the campus with major research and teaching facilities. $50 million from Lorry I. Lokey for the Lorry I. Lokey Interdisciplinary Center for Life Sciences and Engineering ($25 million of which is designated for the Center’s Nanomed Initiative); $30 million from Dr. and Mrs. Irwin Jacobs for the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Graduate School; $26 million from the Russell Berrie Foundation for the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute; $15 million from the Kahn Family Foundation for the D. Dan Kahn & Betty Kahn Mechanical Engineering Building; $13.9 million from the estate of Louis Edelstein for various projects; $13.8 million from Alfred E. Mann for the Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development; $10 million from Henry and Marilyn Taub for the Leaders in Science and Technology Program and faculty recruitment; $10 million from Stephen and Nancy Grand for the Stephen and Nancy Grand Water Research Institute; and $10 million from the Gabriel and Matilda Barnett Trust for various projects.

Thousands of students have benefited from generous scholarships and fellowships, and faculty members – from newly hired rising stars to world-renowned researchers in every scientific field — have received funding for life-changing research.

“The Technion and Israel would not be what they are today without the major impact of the American Technion Society,” summed up Professor Lavie.

Of the funds raised, 61% came from gifts of a million or more. The largest gifts ranged from $1 million to $30 million. An additional 174 supporters became Technion Guardians who made gifts of $1 million or more during the campaign, bringing the total number of Guardians to 302.

The ATS has now begun a period of assessment and planning in preparation for the next campaign, to be launched in 2012. During this period, fund raising and expansion of the organization’s network will continue at the same ambitious level.  

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The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel’s leading science and technology university.  Home to the country’s winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine.  The majority of the founders and managers of Israel’s high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with offices around the country.

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