INSPIRED! $1 billion philanthropic achievement

February 14, 2019
University achieves unprecedented philanthropic goal
The University of Sydney has reached its $1 billion target following an epic philanthropic campaign – the most successful of any university in the nation.

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence announced the achievement of the philanthropic goal.

The unprecedented funds raised through the INSPIRED campaign have supported and will continue to support important causes, including cancer research, restoring vision for the visually impaired, reviving ancient languages, safeguarding global food security, finding treatments for diabetes and saving endangered species and creating educational opportunities for young Australians from a diversity of backgrounds.

The billion-dollar milestone was described by Dr Spence as the “largest philanthropic campaign in Australian history.”

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our donors for their incredible generosity. Your support makes it possible for the University to continue to have a positive impact on society and inspire future generations.

Dr Michael Spence Vice-Chancellor University of Sydney

“The funding from our donors, who come from Australia and all over the world, has demonstrated our community’s unwavering belief in the crucial work the University does in research and education. Their generosity runs contrary to the common perception that Australia lacks a philanthropic culture.”

When the INSPIRED campaign launched in 2008 there was strong scepticism that an Australian organisation could attract this level of philanthropy locally, let alone globally. The campaign has consistently overcome these doubts. The initial goal was $600 million, but after that target was reached early, the University decided to aim higher, ultimately for $1 billion.

“This shift presents opportunities for those with the resources and capabilities to ensure the University of Sydney continues to produce our future leaders, attracting the best researchers, students and academics.”

“It is a truly transformative achievement. It allows us to undertake research and build initiatives that are changing lives and making a difference in our communities and the wider world,” said Dr Spence.

The INSPIRED campaign was motivated by a desire to drive innovation, advance knowledge, pursue discoveries and leave an indelible mark on the wider world – a vision that reflects the mission of the University.

The campaign has already succeeded in providing funds for a range of initiatives, research projects and scholarships.

Over the course of this campaign, the generosity of our donors has made University history. In March 2016 the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation made a gift of $35 million to support the building of the first stage of the new Camperdown Health Precinct, the Susan Wakil Health Building. It followed the Foundation’s gift in May 2015 of $10.8 million to endow 12 nursing scholarships. Together, these gifts make Isaac and Susan Wakil the most significant benefactors in the University’s history.

The INSPIRED campaign has changed the landscape of philanthropic giving in Australia and is testament to the belief donors have in the University as it strives to achieve and shape a better future.

The University of Sydney will continue its work with generous and visionary people who want to make a difference, to secure additional funding to support the invaluable and crucial projects and research needed to benefit generations to come.