The Institute's new development campaign to raise $130 million was announced on January 14 at a banquet attended by more than 700 civic and business leaders at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The goal of the five‑year campaign is to raise $50 million in endowment funds, $40 million for current operating funds, $27 million for new buildings and endowments for their maintenance, and $13 million in trusts whose returns may eventually be used in many ways.
As an excellent beginning, $33 million of the $130 million goal already have been raised.
"Caltech needs $130 million in gifts and endowments to continue its unexcelled education of scientists and engineers and to continue the leadership role of its productive and very substantial research program," said President Harold Brown. "Excellence is not cheap, but it is well worth the cost.
"At a time when opportunities are extremely promising for major scientific advances, we face a shortage of funds. Simply put, we are barely able to keep up with inflation. The number of our graduate students has been severely reduced by cutbacks in federal support.
"We have curtailed spending, postponed construction of needed buildings, all but halted the hiring of new faculty, made stringent economies in administrative and support services, and increased tuition. Thus we have weathered until now the current financial storms, but not without damage.
"As we look ahead, the financial picture for education appears far from bright. After a careful appraisal of the situation and taking into consideration that we are determined to keep Caltech at the leading edge of science and technology, we have decided to seek the help of the private sector of our country in the amount of $130 million."
To improve Caltech's financial stability, the substantial sum of $50 million is being sought for additional endowment which, Brown emphasized, "is the strength of any great university." Invested endowment brings a dependable return each year, provides for growth of the principal, and allows freedom to innovate, to explore, and to plan ahead.
In 1970‑73 Caltech's endowment income amounted to 15 percent of its total revenue. The Institute hopes to increase endowment income to 20 percent, which is more in line with that of other leading private universities. Caltech's operating budget for fiscal 1974 is $44 million.
Noting that Caltech has one of the world's most distinguished faculties, Brown pointed out that the Institute has only 11 endowed professorships. Even extending that honor only to Caltech's most noted professors would require the addition of many more endowed chairs.
This outstanding faculty is being augmented by the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar program which, under a $7.5 million grant from the Fairchild Foundation, brings world leaders in various fields to the campus for periods ranging from two months to two years.
Caltech needs $40 million for current operating expenses – for education and research, and for more mundane but nevertheless vital expenses such as utilities and insurance premiums. Such funds would also be used for purchasing equipment and for modernizing some older buildings.
Equally important is the need for specific new buildings and for funds to support the research to be carried out in them. One pressing concern is for a laboratory building to house new joint projects in biology and chemistry related to medical science. Biologists and chemists would be brought together in this structure, some of them working in conjunction with researchers at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at nearby hospitals.
A new building is needed to house research in earthquake engineering and the environment, including several research projects in environmental engineering science.
Another urgent requirement is for a new astrophysics building. The development of several new branches of astronomy, as well as new discoveries in both optical and radio astronomy, makes it important to bring specialists in these fields together in one facility.
Funds are also being requested for improving physical education, health, and nonacademic facilities for students, and for necessary campus landscaping projects.
While the development campaign is primarily designed to meet the needs of the next ten years, it also calls for raising $13 million in trusts that will produce funds for future activities at the Institute.
The chairman of the new campaign is Harry J. Volk, a Caltech trustee since 1950 who is chairman of the Union Bank and chairman and chief executive officer of Union Bancorp. He presided at the kickoff banquet. Thornton F. Bradshaw, president of Atlantic Richfield Company, was the principal speaker. His address, "The Things Which Men Can Do," follows.