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For Alumni and Friends of The State University of New Jersey

President's Message
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Earning Our Greatness

Richard L. McCormickThis is our Rutgers. It is mine because I grew up here and learned at my parents’ dinner table about their hopes and dreams for Rutgers; because I served on the faculty alongside some of its greatest teachers; and because I am now privileged to be its president. It is yours because each one of you holds deep affections for Rutgers; because you have contributed mightily to its excellence; and because you carry your own hopes and dreams for the university. This is our Rutgers—and together we bear responsibility for its future.

We who know and love Rutgers take pride in its history and the life-changing opportunities it has created. Rutgers’ achievements, and those of our alumni, are hard earned, and our reputation hard fought. Yet we can be much more.

We can be top ranked among the nation’s best public research universities. We can be a magnet for the world’s finest scholars and the first choice for the most hard-working, high-achieving students. We can have campuses that are striking in design and noble in purpose, and programs and discoveries that solve global human problems.

You and I and our outstanding faculty have bold ambitions for Rutgers. We are a university that dares to be great but knows that our distinction will come on merit, not entitlement. And we are all committed to this purpose.

We have begun the public phase of a fundraising campaign entitled Our Rutgers, Our Future: A Campaign for Excellence, with a goal of $1 billion—twice as ambitious as we have ever attempted, and as important as any endeavor we have ever begun.

Our campaign has already raised $478 million—nearly half our goal—thanks to the far­sighted gifts that alumni and friends have made. More than 76,000 individuals and organizations have contributed—a third of them giving to Rutgers for the first time. Through these early gifts, many hundreds more students have scholarship support. New endowed chairs are enriching our work in fields from the sciences to business to the arts. New spaces for learning, research, and athletics are being created. And hundreds of urban teens are striving toward college as Rutgers Future Scholars.

We have an awesome task ahead of us. One billion dollars is not simply a goal; it is a calling to
• Ensure an abundance of endowed faculty chairs so that we can bring even more superb scholars to Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick;
• Provide the scholarship dollars to welcome the next Milton Friedman, Natalie Morales, or Paul Robeson;
• Build the facilities that support world-class teaching and research; and
• Serve more deeply the human family, around the corner and around the world.

We hold Rutgers’ destiny in our grasp. We can transform an outstanding public research university into a truly exceptional one. But no one will hand it to us, and merely wishing won’t make it so. We have to earn our greatness—and by your investments in all that we seek to achieve, we will. Our Rutgers, Our Future.

                                                                                                                                         — Richard L. McCormick

Adapted from President McCormick’s remarks at the campaign kickoff on October 13, 2010.