LSU sets out on unprecedented fundraising quest

    What will it take for LSU to lead Louisiana and impact the world? It’s a more than $1.3 billion question the university system wants donors to answer over the next six years as part of the largest higher education fundraising campaign in Louisiana history.

    As Business Report details in a new feature, LSU is still a couple of weeks away from officially launching this audacious question-and-answer session, just the university’s third advancement campaign over the past 159 years.

    More jaw-dropping than how rare these endeavors have been for the state’s flagship institution is this: The previous two efforts have taken place over the past three decades, meaning for nearly 130 years there was nothing in the way of an official capital campaign. Yes, LSU went after philanthropic dollars, but not in any significant way, instead relying largely on student tuition and state dollars to fund the way.

    That began to change in the 1990s with the launch of the nameless “LSU Campaign,” with the target goal of a rather meager $150 million. More prominent was the “Forever LSU” effort that publicly ran from 2006 through 2010 and raised some $764 million.

    What’s significant about the upcoming campaign, currently in its advanced phase, is that it’s LSU’s first system-wide campaign, meaning the individual foundations from eight LSU institutions will collaboratively raise money. But university officials remain reluctant to discuss several campaign details. Read the full story.   

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