$76.1 million

raised in FY2020
the best year of fundraising in the history of the University

$10.2 million

to be used in the areas of greatest need
giving program leaders the financial freedom to strategically advance the University’s mission

7,234 donors

including 187 for the 1887 Society
the new leadership annual giving community

Dear friends of Catholic University,

We began this past academic year with the public launch of Light the Way: The Campaign for Catholic University. The comprehensive campaign is the most ambitious fundraising endeavor in our 132-year history. To date, we have raised $310.1 million toward our goal of $400 million.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, Catholic University has much to be thankful for. Our community raised $743,256 to help our students facing financial difficulties due to COVID. And thanks to generous donors, we continue to move forward on building a new dining commons and the Conway School of Nursing building.

I’m proud of how we faced the challenges of this past spring together as a community. This next year is filled with more questions than answers, but we are grateful for the support and encouragement of our donor community to help us light the way.

Thank you.


John Garvey

Online premiere! This lighthearted look at recent, current, and planned projects was first screened at the Campaign launch event in September 2019. Some project timelines have since changed.

Providing flexible support via annual giving

$4,976,114 total

in annual giving
provides unrestricted support for the overall University, each of the 12 schools, athletics, and select academic departments and programs

$1,854,530 for The Fund for Catholic University
filling the operational gap between revenue and the costs of running a University

$3,121,584 for school- and program-based annual funds
including athletics, student affairs, and the Light the Way Crisis Response Fund

Cardinals flock together

In 2019, we introduced two new philanthropic societies for annual giving and welcomed new members to our existing societies. The generous members of these societies have a transformative impact on the University's students, faculty, and staff.

A new society for leadership annual donors

1887 Society member with Pope Leo statue

In November 2019, we debuted the 1887 Society for leadership annual giving. The society celebrates alumni, parents, and friends who make leadership gifts of $5,000 or more to one of the University's annual funds, including The Fund for Catholic University, school annual funds, and various programmatic annual funds.

Even before the society celebrates its first anniversary, it has grown to include 187 generous donors who have answered the call to light the way for others.

When the going gets tough, Cardinals get going

With our friendly giving competitions, the entire University wins. Our community members unite to share their enthusiasm for Catholic University and to raise much-needed resources.

Cardinals become light for Founders Day

Grid of Founders Day community members

Instead of a giving challenge, we celebrated Founders Day 2020 — the anniversary of the University's founding on April 10, 1887 — by focusing on the heroic deeds of our community members in the midst of the early days of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States.

Through acts both small and large, our community members give us inspiration and hope. They live the wise words of Pope Francis, who called on us to “become light” in his Angelus address on March 22, 2020.

Light the Way Crisis Response Fund

On Founders Day, we launched the Light the Way Crisis Response Fund so that our community members could help with time-sensitive student needs, one-time tuition assistance, and the increased costs of fully integrated online learning.

By the end of FY2020 — less than one month after the Crisis Response Fund launched — the fund received an outpouring of support from 258 donors totaling $743,256. With these generous contributions, 175 students have already been given stipends to cover utility bills, groceries, technology needs, housing costs, and other expenses. To help them continue their studies in the fall, hundreds of additional students will receive tuition assistance due to changes in their financial situations that have resulted from COVID-19.

The Crisis Response Fund will remain open until all student need has been met.

“Thank you so very much for your collective help. I am literally in tears and so grateful for this opportunity to continue my studies. Now, I will be able to study through the summer toward my goal of a graduate degree. I have been given new life for the writing of my papers.”

— Rachel L., graduate student, School of Arts and Sciences
Empowering students through scholarships

450 total students

cumulatively received more than $5.2M
in generous scholarship support, empowering them to achieve their dreams through a Catholic University education

250 undergraduate students
received $2.2M in scholarship support

99 graduate students
received $1M in scholarship support

116 law students
received $2M in scholarship support

Scholarship recipients: These are four of the 450 scholarship recipients. Select a portrait to learn more about the student.

Video created for Gratus: Celebrating Our Friends and Donors in March 2020.

“We already know that we’re a first-class institution, but these projects are going to make it even more obvious to the surrounding community here in our nation’s capital.”

— Joe Carlini, B.M.E. 1984, P 2021, chairman of the Board of Trustees and Campaign co-chair

One year in the renovated Maloney Hall

In 2020, we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the completion of the first major milestone of Light the Way: The Campaign for Catholic University. For an entire year, the renovated Maloney Hall has served as the home of the Busch School of Business.

Since the renovation was completed in 2019, the Busch School has hosted 296 events, celebrated more than 150 Masses, and hosted more than 5,000 visitors in their new home.

Online premiere! We first screened this video during the opening celebration of Maloney Hall in March 2019, and now, we're sharing it publicly for the first time.

“If the Busch School of Business was available at the time I went to the University, I think I would have had a 10-year head start on what I ended up doing in my life.”

— Joseph M. Della Ratta, B.A. 1953, former University Trustee
Uniting as a community

74 total events

with more than 7,500 people in attendance cumulatively
hosted by the Division of Advancement to foster engagement with — and among — alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends of the University

More than 1,600 alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends
registered for Cardinal Weekend 2019

200 appointments, gatherings, and events
hosted by our regional engagement programs in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston

Light the way in 2020-2021

We are grateful for your unparalleled support in Fiscal Year 2020. You are lighting the way for a bright, new era for The Catholic University of America. Thank you!

With 2020-2021, we begin the penultimate year of our seven-year comprehensive Campaign. Now, we contend with an unanticipated, urgent new need to help every Catholic University student facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We call on you to contribute to the Light the Way Crisis Response Fund to provide support for time-sensitive student needs, one-time tuition assistance, and the increased costs of fully integrated online learning.

This video was first screened at the Campaign launch event in September 2019. Since then, it has garnered thousands of views online.

Even as we contend with the current crisis, we move forward with our long-term priorities to improve the University's academic environment, enhance faculty excellence, and increase student success. These priorities are present in the specific priorities of the University's 12 schools and athletics.

Contribute to the success of the University in 2020-2021. With your support, the University will light the way as the leading national Catholic research university.

Published on: Friday, June 5, 2020

Campaign Theme: Student Success

Tags: Campaign Updates, Report to Donors