Pamplin Campaign Update

Fundraising during the last few years has been a challenging but rewarding experience.

I accepted Dean Sorensen’s invitation to me to chair the Pamplin Campaign Steering Committee for the Campaign for Virginia Tech-Invent the Future in the fall of 2006. The college was temporarily without a development director, and I was trying to figure out what my job as chair entailed, when a couple of calamities unfolded.

The April 16 tragedy occurred two weeks before the scheduled public announcement of the campaign. The university postponed its kickoff event six months. Following this, a worldwide economic recession and stock market slide hit like a tidal wave.

Now, the good news. In spite of these adversities, the Pamplin campaign goal of $80 million has been surpassed, with the campaign still underway. This amazing achievement is a tribute to many loyal alumni and friends, the Pamplin development team, Dean Sorensen, and my fellow members of the Campaign Steering Committee: Tom Byrd, Mike Clarke, Doug Curling, John Emery, Bill Evans, Ron Gridley, Mary McVay, and Jim Pearman.

It will take some time to realize the actual benefits of this fundraising accomplishment, as donations have been made in multi-year pledges, bequests, and charitable trusts as well as cash. But, over time, this success will make a profound difference within Pamplin by providing new professorships, fellowships, student scholarships, and expanded curricula and program support.

Development of these new sources of funding for the college is especially important in the current environment. Financial support from the commonwealth has been in serial decline over the last 20 years. The decline in state funding raises the question of “what about future funding support?” This campaign will end in less than a year, but financial support needs will continue to advance, with very little prospect of a meaningful increase in funding from the state. Annual giving, cash contributions to Pamplin, will have to increase significantly.

I believe that, throughout this campaign, we have seen a growing culture of giving back to the university. Hokie Spirit has never been stronger, and as Hokies, we share a sense of community unlike any university in the United States. Going forward, we all can help make the Pamplin College of Business and Virginia Tech stronger and more special, for We Are Virginia Tech!

Jim Hatch (MACCT ’72)
Pamplin Campaign Steering Committee

Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Magazine Spring 2010

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