Historic fundraising campaign reaches $300 million goal early and keeps going

The Chan family

Thousands of donors create scholarships, endowed professorships, new learning spaces and more in the Leading with Purpose campaign led by alumni Tony ’77 and Virginia Chan ’77 (pictured above with their children, Jonathan ’09 and Megan Chan ’13).

With the support of more than 21,000 donors, University of the Pacific has reached its record $300 million fundraising campaign goal–six months ahead of schedule.

The results of this ambitious effort, Leading with Purpose: The Campaign for University of the Pacific, have led to new scholarships and faculty positions, cutting-edge learning and research environments across all three campuses, and much more. Based on the extraordinary momentum from donors, the university will continue raising funds through the official June 30, 2022 campaign end. 

“I am overwhelmed by the remarkable generosity and determination of the Pacific community to achieve this goal–six months ahead of schedule and in the midst of a global pandemic,” said President Christopher Callahan. “Supporting talented students and their extraordinary faculty, and creating exciting new programs along with new learning and research spaces, are all central to our mission of becoming the best student-centric university in the nation, and that’s exactly what this campaign will allow us to do.”

Pacific launched the public phase of the campaign during a special celebration at Homecoming Weekend in October 2017 that included the introduction of campaign co-chairs Virginia ’77 and Tony Chan ’77 and their children, Jonathan ’09 and Megan Chan ’13, in front of a crowd of 2,000 Pacific alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends.

Since then, donors have given more than $31 million to support new academic programs like the popular Media X major that connects the arts with digital and emerging media, and allied health degrees in the new School of Health Sciences. In total, 16 endowed faculty positions have been established.

The campaign generated $42 million in endowed scholarship support for students. Avery Whipple ’23, a Powell Scholar and member of Pacific’s men’s soccer team, described the scholarship support he received as a catalyst for giving back to others.

Avery Whipple

Student Avery Whipple '23 spoke about the transformative impact of scholarships during the inaugural dinner celebrating the investiture of President Christopher Callahan on October 20, 2021.

“It’s because of your generosity and the people and programs here at Pacific that I will be able to pursue my dreams of attending medical school and one day becoming a pediatrician,” Whipple said. “When my dreams do become reality, I am possibly most excited by the fact that I will be in a position where I can give back what has been given to me.” 

Campaign gifts also allowed Pacific to construct or renovate 15 facilities, including the William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center and the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center. 

During the pandemic, Pacific alumni and friends stepped up in unparalleled ways, contributing more than $1.5 million toward the university’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, helping to facilitate remote instruction and vaccine distribution efforts. 

Virginia Chan, a current member of the Board of Regents, and Tony Chan, a former Regent, said they were “grateful for the thousands of supporters who stepped forward to invest in human potential and possibility.”

“It has been incredibly inspiring to lead this effort, and while we reached our goal sooner than we could have imagined, we look forward to setting our sights higher and propelling the university forward in the months ahead,” they said.

campaign fundraising numbers

The campaign will remain focused on four priority areas: 

Academic Programs of Excellence and Relevance: Creating the best academic programs for the needs of future citizen-leaders and adapting to the ever-changing landscape.

Student Access and Success: Opening doors for students of all backgrounds through scholarships, fellowships and opportunities that make a Pacific education affordable and attainable.

Building Communities: Proving every day that social and economic challenges can be answered when people are willing to listen to one another and work together. The Pacific ethos of service reverberates throughout Northern California and extends around the world.

Athletic Achievement: Providing our scholar-athletes with the resources they need to be successful in the classroom and in competition, exemplifying Pacific’s values of performance, integrity and teamwork.

“The historic success of this campaign is a testament to the unequaled Tiger spirit and commitment to giving back,” said Norman Allen ’88, ’94, chair of Pacific’s Board of Regents. “I want to thank everyone who supported this campaign in ways big and small. We celebrate the lasting impact it will have on our students, our communities and our world for generations to come.”

The latest campaign comes 100 years after the completion of another historic fundraising campaign for Pacific. The June 21, 1922 edition of The Stockton Record reported that early fundraising effort–created to bring the College of the Pacific from San Jose to Stockton–had concluded successfully, reaching its $600,000 goal. Pacific was moved to Stockton two years later.

Leading with Purpose campaign by the numbers:

  • $300 million total raised
  • 21,317 donors
  • 61,660 gifts
  • $42.7 million for endowed scholarships 
  • $31.6 million for academic programs 
  • 16 new endowed faculty chairs and professorships
  • 15 new and renovated facilities
  • 407 new and enhanced Powell-matched endowments 

Learn more about the Leading with Purpose campaign or make a gift to Pacific.