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Stanford University announced that its capital campaign had raised a record $6.2 billion—a towering sum that will no doubt figure in Harvard fundraisers’ planning as they continue to refine the goals for a University capital drive expected to be announced publicly in the next couple of years.

The Stanford Challenge, concluded December 31, originally aimed to bring in $4.3 billion. Some 166,000 donors contributed to the campaign. Programmatic priorities funded include initiatives on human health, the environment/energy and sustainability, international engagements, multidisciplinary research across the institution, K-12 education, and the arts. According to Stanford’s report, the new funds will support $254 million in support for need-based undergraduate scholarships; 139 new endowed faculty positions; 366 graduate fellowships; and construction or renovation of 38 campus buildings—all things Harvard will want to gain support for, too (including renewal of the undergraduate Houses; much more substantial endowment support for the vastly expanded lower- and middle-income-family financial aid made available to College students during the past decade; financing to complete a redesigned science complex in Allston; and programmatic initiatives yet to be detailed).

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Yale’s most recent campaign, concluded last year, raised $3.9 billion. Cornell has raised more than $3 billion toward its eventual goal of $4.75 billion, and Columbia has raised $4.4 billion as it seeks to reach a goal of $5 billion (increased from an original $4 billion) by December 2013. The evolving targets for Harvard’s fund drive will likely reflect both Stanford’s total and the University of Southern California’s announced $6-billion campaign, launched last summer.