photo: Daniel Milner President Barbara R. Snyder and the OK Go Band

When Case Western Reserve's $1 billion capital campaign went public three years ago, a new university center was among its top priorities.

So when the Tinkham Veale University Center opened to the campus Aug. 24, it was only fitting that President Barbara R. Snyder also spoke about the campaign.

Standing before hundreds of students gathered to help dedicate the building and listen to the Los Angeles band OK Go, President Snyder first explained how the center behind them came to be. Yes, 1937 alumnus Tinkham Veale committed $20 million to allow construction to commence, but more than 1,000 others also contributed—including undergraduates.

"As you enjoy this space in the years to come," President Snyder told the students gathered, "I hope you will consider ways to 'pay forward' your peers' generosity."

Hers was not an abstract request. The university center's opening also featured two major campaign announcements: First, donors had taken Case Western Reserve beyond the $1 billion mark—more than 2.5 years ahead of the campaign end date. Second, rather than close the campaign after reaching its goal, trustees unanimously agreed to expand the effort to $1.5 billion under the name Forward Thinking: Extending Our Impact.

Case Western Reserve is concentrating on three priorities in this new phase of fundraising: student support, such as scholarships and fellowships; faculty support, including endowed professorships; and capital projects, such as a research building designed to support studies in science and engineering, the new health education campus, and the innovation hub known as think[box].

The extended campaign builds upon earlier themes: The university's ability to contribute to society depends first on people. Ensuring talented students can afford to attend this university requires bringing in new dollars for scholarships.

Attracting and keeping top scientists and scholars, meanwhile, depends on providing the recognition and resources that endowed professorships represent.

Finally, both of these groups need new and renovated spaces to advance their efforts.

If the cheers that greeted President Snyder's announcements offer any insight, the past of student philanthropy may prove the prologue for even greater engagement.

To learn more about the expanded campaign, visit

  • print