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Kellogg raised more than $2.7 million during its "Meet Us at a Million Challenge." Ten lead donors — including (from left) Bruce Spohler '86, Catherine '94 and Gary Briggs '89, and Jenny Lee '01 — pledged to match any KLC-level gift up to $1 million.

The Kellogg School of Management announced that it has raised more than $2.7 million dollars during its “Meet Us at a Million Challenge,” a campaign in which 10 leading Kellogg alumni pledged to match any Kellogg Leadership Circle-level gift of $2,500 or more ($1,000 or more for recent graduates) up to $1 million.

“Meet Us at a Million Challenge” raises more than $2.7 million

More than 400 donors contribute to campaign, with funds going toward Annual Fund.

By Glenn Jeffers

7/26/2016 - The Kellogg School of Management announced that it has raised more than $2.7 million dollars during its “Meet Us at a Million Challenge,” a campaign in which 10 leading Kellogg alumni pledged to match any Kellogg Leadership Circle-level gift of $2,500 or more ($1,000 or more for recent graduates) up to $1 million.

More than 190 donors contributed KLC-level gifts to the campaign, which ran from May 21 through June 30, raising more than $1.6 million.

Inspired by the response, Henry Bullock ’80, chairman and founder of commercial real estate firm Menlo Equities, pledged to give an additional $100,000 to the campaign if 100 donors contributed during a 10-day extension.

Another 290-plus donors — nearly triple the goal — responded to Bullock’s challenge and contributed.

In addition to exceeding participation goals, the final $2.7 million tally surpassed the campaign’s initial goal of generating $2 million in impact, says Christine Feary, director of the Annual Fund.

“The 'Meet Us at a Million Challenge' reminded us once again that the Kellogg community is a deeply-committed group of people,” Feary says. “From the generous lead donors to the supporters that made gifts, the Kellogg community responded with tremendous enthusiasm for the ‘Meet Us at a Million Challenge.’”

Annual Fund closing in on $7.5 million goal

The $2.7 million will go toward Kellogg’s Annual Fund, which allows the school to provide scholarships for exceptional students, support trailblazing faculty, drive game-changing research and spur global innovation.

Annual Fund gifts have an immediate impact. In 2015, more than $5 million from the Annual Fund went toward scholarships for more than 300 students.

The Annual Fund reached a record-breaking goal last year, reaching $6 million in contributions, a 39 percent increase from the previous two years. Feary says the campaign should help Kellogg secure its 2016 goal of $7.5 million.

“This unprecedented effort has generated record-breaking results for the Kellogg Annual Fund this year,” Feary says. “We’ve raised more than $7 million so far, with just another $500,000 to be raised by August 31.”

The campaign also sparked a 24 percent increase in membership in the Kellogg Leadership Circle, a vibrant community of engaged philanthropists who provide a significant base of Annual Fund support for Kellogg, its initiatives, and its students, says Feary.

Donors take the lead and “pay it forward”

In addition to thanking the contributors, Feary expressed gratitude to the 10 lead donors who spearheaded the campaign, including Catherine ’94 and Gary Briggs ’89, Rich Byrne ’85, Guangfu Cui ’03, Bon French ’76, Bill Hayes ’91, Jenny Lee ’01, Carlos Guillermo Leon ’94, Keith Rozolis ’83, Bruce Spohler ’86 and an anonymous donor.

When asked why they joined the campaign, many of the donors echoed a similar sentiment: Kellogg had provided them with the tools, opportunities and, in some cases, the resources needed to succeed. As alumni, it was their duty to help support Kellogg’s future.

“I’ve applied lessons from every class — investment, finance, economics, accounting, leadership and governance, product development and marketing — you name it,” says French, executive chairman of the Chicago-based Adams Street Partners. “Personally and professionally, I value my Kellogg experience. I know my fellow alumni do, too.”

Said Rozolis, president & CEO of ABC Supply Co.: “Like so many of our alumni, someone invested in me, and I wouldn't be where I am today if they had not. Kellogg has made so much possible for me, and now it's time for me to give back and pay it forward.”