University of Sydney has announced three major donations, totalling $16 million, at the launch of its extraordinary $600 million campaign. Greg Johnson reveals the details.

Three major gifts have been revealed by the University of Sydney as it formally announced the university is seeking to raise $600 million over 10 years, and has reached the $300 million mark to date. Donations revealed at the launch include $10 million from Sean Howard, $1 million from Michael Hintze and a further $5 million from an anonymous donor.

The university’s vice chancellor Michael Spence said it is important that philanthropy evolves as government funding scales back. The university’s campaign has been formally named ‘INSPIRED – the Campaign to support the University of Sydney’.

“If we are to evolve in this challenging environment – if we are to support the future of tertiary education and inspire future generations of academics and students to make a difference beyond the walls of academia – we need to think creatively about new funding avenues,” said Spence.

“Philanthropy gives us the opportunity to rise above the level of business-as-usual and achieve something special. The generosity of donors plays an important part in our 160-year history: the greatest of our achievements have occurred because our supporters shared our vision for the future.

Howard, an entrepreneur who founded OzeMail, will fund the creation of the Valerie Mary Howard Imitative to advance the Save Sight Institute. Hintze’s pledge will go towards a flagship research and development incubator at the Charles Perkins Centre and the anonymous donation will create a ‘teacher enrichment academy for science, technology, engineering and mathematics’.

“INSPIRED – the Campaign to support the University of Sydney is a celebration of all that we are capable of,” he added. “By working together in pursuit of our shared passions, we can make a real difference for future generations.”

Greg Johnson is the editor of Fundraising & Philanthropy Magazine.

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