Nearly a decade after the close of its last major fundraising campaign, Yale has launched “Yale Tomorrow,” a five-year drive to raise $3 billion, a major portion of which will be directed toward science and medicine. At the public launch of the campaign in September, President Richard C. Levin announced that donors had already committed $1.3 billion in gifts and pledges during the campaign’s quiet phase, which began in mid-2004.

The campaign is organized around four major themes: “Yale College,” “The Arts,” “The Sciences” and “The World.”

Within the sciences, under the rubric “Medicine Tomorrow,” Yale will seek support for many research, educational and clinical programs, with the ultimate goal of finding new and better ways to diagnose and treat illness, says Dean Robert J. Alpern, M.D., Ensign Professor of Medicine.

According to Inge T. Reichenbach, Yale’s vice president for development, the campaign’s goals for the medical school are quite specific.

These goals include increased support for research, the establishment of new endowed professorships, increased financial aid for students, new buildings for research and clinical care, improved technology, educational innovation and support for the cancer hospital addition to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The drive comes at a time when the university has attracted international press coverage for the record growth in its endowment, which increased from $5.8 billion in 1997, at the conclusion of the university’s last fundraising campaign, to $18 billion for the fiscal year ending June 30. During that same nine-year period, the medical school’s endowment rose from $446.6 million to $1.5 billion. The university has an operating budget of $1.67 billion for 2006–2007, of which $676 million is expected to come from the endowment.

But the size of the endowment, second only to Harvard’s $29 billion nest egg, does not mean the university has all the resources it needs to grow in new directions, according to campaign leaders.

Jancy L. Houck, M.A., who joined Yale as associate vice president for university development and director of medical school development and alumni affairs in September, explains that income from the current endowment was earmarked at the time of the original gift decades or more ago. “It takes new resources to do new things,” says Houck, adding that the same is true with grant dollars from the federal government, foundations and corporations.

Although the $57 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) that the medical school received in October is the largest grant ever received by the school, Houck says the award presents an opportunity to engage donors in conversations about the medical school’s future.

“This support from the National Institutes of Health doesn’t replace our need for philanthropy, because grants are very, very specific. You have to use the funding in the exact manner outlined in the proposal,” says Houck. “The philanthropy that we seek will be for needs that are not covered by a big grant, where donors can really leverage their gift, knowing that there is a certain level of activity that is already funded.”

The public campaign kicked off with a day of presentations by noted faculty and alumni—including medical school professors Irwin M. Braverman, M.D., Christopher K. Breuer, M.D., Carolyn M. Mazure, Ph.D., Milissa A. McKee, M.D., R. Lawrence Moss, M.D., W. Mark Saltzman, Ph.D., Bennett A. Shaywitz, M.D., Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D., and Tian Xu, Ph.D.—followed by a multimedia program narrated by actor Sam Waterston, a 1962 Yale College alumnus, and a gala dinner in University Commons.

“To expand Yale beyond its current scale and scope, to build the Yale of tomorrow, we will need new financial resources,” says Levin. “Above all, we need to complete the transformation of Yale from a local to a regional to a national to an international university.”