On Thursday afternoon, Georgetown welcomed Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, for a conversation in Gaston Hall. The talk was succinct and efficient, focusing on just two topics: Buffett’s philanthropy and the state of the economy.
This event was made possible by Bank of America and Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, the same duo that brought Bono to GU in 2012. “Last year we brought you a rock star,” Moynihan said, while introducing Buffett. “This year we brought you a real rock star.”
Buffet spent a considerable amount of time discussing his most recent philanthropic project called The Giving Pledge. This campaign, a collaboration with Bill Gates and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was designed to invite the wealthy to pledge to donate half of their net worth to philanthropy.
To date, the effort has recruited 115 people. Profiles of those who have made the pledge are posted on the project’s website, discussing the motives and purposes of the donations. Buffett hopes that these profiles and other publicity will help recruit more pledges to his campaign. “I call these billionaires up and sometimes they tell me how they can’t do it,” Buffett said. “I tell them I’m going to write a book on how to live on 500 million dollars.”
Students of Georgetown, Inc. released its Annual Report for fiscal year 2011 last week, revealing financial success and income statements boasting a net income of $244,384.17, a significant bounce back from the previous year’s net loss of $10,418.
Current Chief Financial Officer Scott Munro (COL ’12) attributes this success to a variety of factors, including increased margins and re-pricing in both Vittles and coffee products. Keeping costs down through key vendor changes in combination with a raise in the price of 20 oz. Coke products were also large contributors to this year’s change in net income.
“I think my philosophy has always been: the better The Corp can do financially, the better we can serve the community,” Munro said. “The Corp, and I, have also always been big on providing students with low cost services: whether that’s catering, printing, a banana, we pride ourselves on being the cheapest (and happiest) company around.”
The Corp seeks to emphasize that its goal to ensure steady revenue growth goes back to the fact that income is directly reinvested back into the Georgetown community. While some Corp Philanthropy efforts such as the annual Corp Gala and the Reimagine Georgetown Grant are more familiar to students, there are also several other facets through which the Corp gives back. The Annual Report lays out four committees and initiatives: the Corp Service and Outreach Committee, the Corp Philanthropy Committee, the Corp Advancement Team and the Green Corp Initiative. Through these, The Corp is able to more efficiently and effectively improve upon the implementation of its goals to both increase involvement and transparency with the student body.
“I’m most excited about what we can do with our Philanthropy Committee and what active steps we can take on campus to give back to the community,” said incoming CFO Vidur Khatri (MSB ’14) on how he hopes to continue The Corp’s success. “I’m excited about expansion and reinvesting in our services that can ensure that we continue to serve the highest quality products to our shareholders, the students of Georgetown.”
Stemming from an approximately $75 million donation given in late 2008, Georgetown University has created four diverse field chairs in memory of RobertMcDevitt (COL ’40) and his wife Catherine.
McDevitt left the University one-third of his estate prior to his death in September 2008. His wife died in April of the same year.
The McDevitts were devout Catholics—having also left significant donations to the Diocese of Syracuse and LeMoyne College—and the field chairs created are meant to reflect “areas of personal meaning to them that are so critical to our ongoing efforts to enhance our academic quality and Catholic and Jesuit mission,” according to President John Degioia.
Mark Murphy will be the Robert L. McDevitt and Catherine H. McDevitt chair for religious philosophy. James Freericks holds the same chair in physics, Ophir Frieder as the chair for computer science and information processing, and law professor Milton Regan as the chair in jurisprudence.
McDevitt ran the family funeral directing business, but made a significant amount of his fortune from IBM stock. His mother was the secretary to the president of the company’s predecessor and purchased stock in the company early in IBM’s history.
November reminds us of three things: Pumpkin pie, turkey, and mustaches. Luckily, we’re not the only ones.
A group of Georgetown Law students recently launched Georgetown Facial Challenge, a website that will monitor their participation in Movember, a month of mustache-growing and raising funds for prostate cancer research.
“I’m doing this for family. When cancer hits close to home, you strike back with a sexy mo,” Winstanley, a Vancouver native, wrote on his Movember profile.
According to their website, the group of law students raised $1,580 last year. This time around, they’ve set their sights on a more ambitious, $10,000 goal. They encourage all students—not just the mustache-inclined—to join their team and help raise money.
It’s no small feat convincing graduating seniors to donate money in the midst of a poor job market. Yet, the Class of 2010 Fund did just that.
“It’s tough for young people to make commitments when there’s a lot of uncertainty,” Ben Jarrett, Assistant Director in the Office of Advancement, said. “But, we know how lucky we are at Georgetown to have such dedicated students.”
When Vox last checked in on the Class of 2010 Fund in early April, a quarter of the senior class had donated approximately $17,000 total. The final numbers, however, show a late-semester surge. With a 67% participation rate, the Class of 2010 ultimately donated $37,793 to the University.
The Fund’s numbers mark three-year highs in both donation amount and participation rate; the Class of 2010 raised about $15,000 more than the Class of 2009, while convincing 11% more of its senior class to donate.
Lauren Huddleston, Class of 2010 Fund Co-Chair, suggested that on-campus events, such as a senior toast in Riggs Library with President John DeGioia and a semi-formal held in the Hariri building, helped boost the Fund.
“We tried to market ourselves and put ourselves in any event where seniors would be,” Huddleston said. “We tried to appeal to a cross-section of our class.”
While $22,000 of the Fund will go to towards the 1789 Scholarship Imperative and the Georgetown Fund, the remaining monies will be split among specific departments or funds chosen by each donor. According to Jarrett, the next-highest donation choices were academic departments, student groups, and athletic programs.
Curious about how the Class of 2010 compares to previous classes? We’ve got the charts after the jump.
Aided by the University’s ongoing efforts to raise funds for the 1789 Scholarship Imperative, young alumni donations increased by 25 percent in the past year.
The Office of Advancement saw a similar jump in the number of young alumni donors, who are defined as members of the five most-recently graduated classes. Nearly 30 percent more students donated compared to the 2009 fiscal year.
“A lot of folks are rallying behind the Scholarship Imperative,” Assistant Director of Advancement Benjamin Jarrett said.
More than a quarter of the young alumni donor base, which the Office of Advancement defines as “solicitable alumni,” gave gifts to the University last year. The Class of 2008 led the pack with a 30 percent participation rate, however, no class fell below the 24 percent mark.
We know you’ve all been waiting on the edge of your seats with one question burning deep into the backs of your minds: What recently graduated class raised the most young alumni donations this past year?
As of this morning—which is the last day of the 2010 fiscal year, in case you didn’t mark your calendars—the Class of 2008 leads the pack with 421 gifts to the University. (The Class of 2005 closely trails them with 401 gifts, while none of the other three most recently graduated classes cracked 380 gifts.)
“This has been a pretty good year for alumni giving, so far,” Assistant Director of Advancement Benjamin Jarrett said. “It looks like we’ll be on track to have our best year ever in terms of the number of gifts coming in from the first five years out of college.”
Alumni who wish to make a last-minute donation to the University can do so through the Georgetown Fund’s website. According to Jarrett, over 8,500 alumni have already donated the Georgetown Fund and 1789 Scholarship Initiative, which aims to raise $500 million for undergraduate scholarships by 2014.
“The project’s goal will be to strengthen the troops and the community around them by providing much needed assistance on several levels: leadership, recruitment and financial assistance,” the e-mail said. “Over the summer, the chapter intends to send approximately 25 boys to Scout camp. In addition, [APO] set aside $10,000 that will go towards college scholarships for Girl Scout Gold Award recipients and Eagle Scouts.”
Five thousand dollars will also go toward uniforms and handbooks, $8,000 toward trips, and $2,000 toward service project supplies.
APO is one of dozens of service projects that have received money from Pepsi so far this year. Projects from Teach For America, which won $250,000, and a program to purchase 25 iPod Touch units for a gradeschool science lab, which won $5,000, were awarded money based on open voting. In February, APO’s project got the second-most votes in the $25,000 category.
You probably saw those signs last Thursday—”Did you know your tuition runs out today?” “Did you know that 55 percent of Georgetown students receive financial aid?”—which were making their annual appearance on Copley Lawn to mark ‘Tuition Day,’ or, the day that the money students and their families pay to Georgetown no longer covers the University’s operating costs. From March 25 onwards, Georgetown is funded through alumni donations.
The signs were part of the campaign encouraging seniors to give to the Class of 2010 Fund, which annually collects money from the graduating class as gifts to Georgetown. Add that to the promotional video above—in which a train of students glide past the camera making bizarre gyrations and hand motions (save for the student who is actually signing; and clearly, they didn’t tell that first kid that this video was supposed to be inspiring)—and it’s clear that it’s that time of year again where the Class Fund amps up its efforts to encourage senior donations.
So Vox spoke with Co-Chair of the 2010 Fund Lauren Huddleston (COL ’10) to see how collection was going.
“We are right on par with where we were last year, with 25 percent of the senior class donating. We do have a goal, and it’s 65 percent of the senior class. Last year 55 percent gave,” Huddleston said.
Of the gift, $5 million will go toward permanent support for the Catholic programming provided through the Office of Mission and Ministry. “The gift will endow programs and a new position that will provide expanded spiritual and educational opportunities for faculty, staff, students and alumni,” Blue and Gray writes.
Another $1 million will provide need-based scholarships to students, with preference to students coming to Georgetown from Jesuit high schools, “including Cristo Rey schools, a national network of Catholic high schools that provide college preparatory education to urban young people who live in communities with limited educational options.”
The final $900,000 will be put toward hiring and retaining Jesuit faculty by creating the Leavey Distinguished Jesuit Scholars Fund.
Georgetown University has received several gifts from the Leavey Foundation in the past, including the gift for the naming rights of the Leavey Student Center, money to endow an academic chair in the Foundations of American Freedom, and money for the Southwest Quadrangle residence halls. Thomas Leavey, a co-founder of the Foundation, was a 1923 graduate of the Georegtown Law Center.