UMD Launches $1.5 Million Capital Campaign


Campaign will support students, faculty, research, arts and athletics


The University of Maryland has launched a $1.5 billion campaign, Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland. The fundraising campaign will focus on elevating and expanding the university’s mission of service, enhancing academic distinction and bolstering UMD’s leading-edge research enterprise.  


“We build students' dreams—our dreams—one scholarship, one faculty member, one hands-on experience at a time,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “I encourage you to join in our ascendant journey. Together, we will build our fearless future.”


In concert with the university’s strategic plan, Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland will support the university’s continued ascent as a world-class public research university. Gifts and pledges totaling $902 million have already been received toward the goal to-date, including milestone gifts from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, Brendan Iribe, Kevin Plank, Barry and Mary Gossett, the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation, Emilio Fernandez, and an anonymous donor to launch the Do Good initiative. 


The $1.5 billion goal will support students, faculty, research, arts and athletics through four key priority areas:


  • Fearless Ideas will discover new knowledge through new investments in our world-renowned faculty with new endowed chairs, professorships, fellowships and deanships across campus.
  • Fearless Ideas will inspire Maryland pride with broad support for innovative programs and capital projects that deliver on our land-grant mission of service to the state and nation, and bolster a vibrant campus with community impact through state-of-the-art facilities.
  • Fearless Ideas will transform the student experience with more scholarships to expand access and affordability, and innovative co-curricular programs for students like action learning, study abroad, research opportunities, internships and externships.
  • Fearless Ideas will turn imagination into innovation by expanding pioneering programs in entrepreneurship, social innovation and creative thinking, and by amplifying our impact as the nation’s first Do Good campus.


“We are excited to embark on this ambitious fundraising campaign that will transform our university, enabling us to solve the biggest problems facing our world today,” said Jackie Lewis, UMD’s vice president for university relations. “I am grateful for our generous supporters who recognize that investing in our students, faculty and university today means setting the pace for the future of philanthropy for generations to come.” 


The campaign is led by generous co-chairs:

Alma G. Gildenhorn '53, Philanthropist;

Barry P. Gossett '62, Principal, Gossett Group;

Brendan Iribe, Co-founder, Oculus VR; (Honorary Co-chair)

William E. “Brit” Kirwan, Chancellor Emeritus, University System of Maryland;

Karen B. Levenson '76, Educator;

Kevin A. Plank '92, Founder, CEO and Chairman, Under Armour; (Honorary Co-chair)

Michelle Smith, President, Robert H. Smith Family Foundation; and

Craig A. Thompson '92, Partner, Venable LLP.


The campaign co-chairs released a joint statement in support of Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland: 


“We're proud of all that the University of Maryland has accomplished as one of top public universities in the country and globally. The case for support for the University of Maryland is simple: by being part of Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland, we educate the next generation of global leaders when we fund the students, faculty, arts, research and athletics of our state's flagship university. We serve our state, the nation and world in our quest to discover new knowledge. As a Do Good campus, we believe investment in education at the University of Maryland sparks a lasting effect that carries on for generations.”


Supporters of the university gathered on May 11 to mark the campaign’s launch with the opportunity to see all the university has to offer, and interact with some of UMD’s most innovative and forward-thinking students and faculty. Photos and videos are available at  


To learn more about Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland, visit



Posted on May 15, 2018 by Maggie Haslam