The University of Maryland announced its goal Friday to fundraise $1.5 billion by the end of 2021 for numerous construction projects, scholarship funds and program upgrades, according to a news release.
The campaign, which is already more than halfway complete, envelopes much of the large donations made to the university over the past few years, including last month's $21.25 million donation from Barry and Mary Gossett focused on student athletes, last semester's $219.5 million donation from the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation focused on scholarships and engineering programs and 2014's $31 million gift from Brendan Iribe focused on computer science.
Iribe and Barry Gossett are among the campaign's co-chairs.
Campaign co-chair Brit Kirwan said those donations were part of the "quiet phase" of the project, which is entitled "Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland." Officials wanted to wait until they were about halfway toward the $1.5 billion goal before the announcement was made, Kirwan said.
"One of the reasons to have this quiet phase is … then people will be really be impressed that there's a lot of momentum towards this campaign," said Kirwan, a former president of this university and chancellor of the University System of Maryland. "That opens the door for us to have conversations with other alumni and friends of the university who have maybe been thinking about a gift to the university, but they can see now that they'll be part of something much larger than just a single gift."
The project has garnered about $902 million in donations so far, according to a university spokesperson. It includes fundraising for capital projects like Cole Field House and the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation, Kirwan said. It also includes the funding that launched the Do Good Initiative, a $75 million project to support student philanthropy work, in 2016.
[Read more: UMD receives $21.25 million donation supporting career aid for student-athletes]
Kirwan said the campaign will also work to endow the remaining half of the need-based scholarship funded by the Clark Foundation. The foundation donated $50 million to this fund, which was to be matched by the university.
University President Wallace Loh highlighted the campaign's potential impact for students and faculty.
"We build students' dreams—our dreams—one scholarship, one faculty member, one hands-on experience at a time," Loh said in the news release.
Senior staff writer Naomi Grant contributed to this report.
CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this article misspelled Barry and Mary Gossett's last name. This article has been updated.