Challenge Accepted, American University’s first Comprehensive Campaign in 18 years, is set to launch Wednesday afternoon in a quasi-live event with university president Sylvia Burwell.
"Challenge Accepted," alongside the campaign slogan "Change Can't Wait" is a call for action meant to further foster an active student and alumni community while putting funding towards the individual college and student opportunities including scholarships, affordable access to education and campus organizations, according to vice president for development and alumni relations Courtney Surls.
Along with the release of this campaign came the strategic plan dubbed “Changemakers for a Changing World” and a new university website outlining the five year goals.
According to Surls at a Monday media briefing, the plan is structured in three “pillars:” elevate, inspire and lead.
“Elevate” encompasses transforming the student experience and includes an inclusive excellence goal. This goal aims at ensuring students have access to an affordable education and tackles issues of student thriving, Surls said.
Surls continued, saying “inspire” was about faculty and ensuring the best faculty members are being retained and attracted to continue teaching at the university.
“Lead” involves the surrounding local community and giving back to the Wasington region as well as the university’s influence on a national and global level.
The first stages of the campaign, the “quiet phase,” began in 2017 when Burwell took over as university president. A $500 million goal was set and, as of Wednesday’s live stream, it was announced $270 million had already been raised.
The reason behind not launching the campaign sooner is due to the coronavirus taking priority and the university recognizing the financial struggles many of its students were facing.