Kansas University students are told to aim high during college set goals, achieve them, set higher goals.
The same was true for KU Chancellor Gene Budig when he set a challenging goal for the Campaign Kansas fund drive, the largest in KU's history.
In 1987, he set out to raise $150 million in private donations over five years.
It's time to set a new goal.
Gifts and pledges to Campaign Kansas now total more than $210 million, and the drive's not over.
"Our fund-raising successes, through the KU Endowment Association, have been, in a word, phenomenal," Budig said in a recent interview.
THE ORIGINAL $150 million goal for Campaign Kansas was surpassed in 1989. A revised goal of $177 million was eclipsed last year.
The final total says Jim Martin, executive director of Campaign Kansas and executive vice president of the endowment association, "might be as much as $225 million."
"KU has been extraordinarily successful with Campaign Kansas," said Jordan Haines, national chairman of the drive. "The financial resources committed during the past three years will assist KU students in obtaining the finest education possible."
Budig said private support from Campaign Kansas has "helped immeasurably to position KU for the challenges of the 1990s and the 21st century."
A comprehensive research university like KU can't be competitive without substantial private financing, the chancellor said.
KU's endowment is the ninth largest among U.S. public universities, Budig said. It will rank higher, perhaps sixth or seventh, after of Campaign Kansas, he said.
"The real winners from Campaign Kansas,'' Budig said, ``will be the faculty and students of this university."
BUDIG SAID the drive has enhanced funding for professorships, scholarships, fellowships, student loans, libraries and academic programs.
Since last August, there have been seven donations of $1 million or more to Campaign Kansas.
The largest gift in the past year came was a $4.2 million pledge for KU basketball and football programs from Bernard and Marilyn Morgan of Prairie Village.
Overall, the largest donation was made in 1988. It was a $10 million from the Lied Foundation for a performing arts center. Construction of the center, located at 15th and Iowa, has started.
KUEA officals say they will continue to tally Campaign Kansas donations until July 1992.
The drive has had great success during a time that the state's commitment to maintaining support for KU has been questioned.
AND MAINTAINING the momentum generated by the campaign may be more difficult than anticipated, Martin said.
"If the state pulls away resources for higher education, it becomes easier for private donors to say, `If the state's not going to do its share, neither am I,'" he said. Officials have consistently pointed out, however, that the drive was never intended to take the place of state funding for basic university operations. Its intent was to give KU the resources needed for excellence.
Martin said the size of gifts to Campaign Kansas have declined in the latter stages of the drive. At this point, most are less than $10,000.
However, he said to expect a few more donations in the $1 million range before the drive ends.
"We're getting much more modest gifts from many more people. We're at a stage in the campaign where we draw a circle around every alumnus and say, "There is an opportunity for you to stand up and be counted.'" he said.
"If you graduated last year, and you can write a check for $25 or $50 dollars, we welcome that. Maybe next year you can write a check for $35 or $60."
MARTIN SAID that maintaining contact with recent graduates is important, because some who finished school last year are going to be in a position to make six- or seven-figure gifts in 30, 40 or 50 years.
He said 63 percent of the Campaign Kansas total represents cash payments. That's a higher percentage than KU received during the Program for Progress fund drive two decades ago.
Seventeen percent of the total consist of pledges made but not yet paid. Eleven percent represents deferred gifts, which includes gifts of insurance, bequests and trusts.
Nine percent is classified as gifts made directly to the university but subsequently transferred to the association. This category includes everything from money to artwork.
Martin said the drive has been rewarding for everyone involved.
"What has made this a successful campaign has been the dedicated group of volunteers serving on committees, especially the executive board and steering committee," he said.
"It's the typical extraordinary generosity of KU alumni, which frankly is . . . the envy of many of our sister institutions," he said.