Dear Colleagues and Students,

Tonight at our annual Green and Gold Gala, we will be announcing the official launch of The Campaign for Colorado State University, the first major comprehensive campaign we’ve undertaken in CSU’s history. Our goal will be to raise $500 million in support of key University priorities by 2012, including scholarships, endowed chairs and professorships, college initiatives, improved learning facilities, and programs to advance teaching, research, and outreach. While this won’t solve all our institution’s funding problems or erase the challenges facing the state, The Campaign will help to provide part of a sustainable financial foundation that will serve our University for generations to come.

We’ve already raised nearly half of our $500 million goal during the silent phase of The Campaign, which began in 2005. Over the next three years, we will be reaching out more broadly to donors, parents, alumni, community supporters, students, and all members of our campus community to spread the message that Colorado State is a great university that will become even stronger with an increased base of private giving and support.

Certainly, there have been more opportune times to launch a major fund-raising campaign, but the difficult economic challenges we’ve faced this past year only serve to highlight the importance of higher education and CSU’s land-grant mission. We exist to create opportunity by providing access to a first-rate education and groundbreaking research. In launching The Campaign, we are challenging all those who believe in the institution and its mission to help sustain it. Among our goals is to ensure that even during difficult financial times, we are able to keep the doors of opportunity open to students from all walks of life with the passion and ability to succeed here.

The Campaign for Colorado State University is no small undertaking, and all of us will play a critical role in its success. When The Campaign goes public after tonight, and people ask you what it means or why it’s necessary, I invite you to speak from your own experience and share the kinds of stories you’ve shared with me over the years — about the student who came here on a scholarship and went on to achieve great things; about the research program that just needs a little investment to transform from good to great; about the county Extension agent who’s working side by side with producers to help them stay afloat in the face of drought and economic hardship; about the Student Affairs staff member who’s taken money from her own pocket to help students buy books or pay rent; about the facilities teams who put in extra hours to dress up the campus for the return of our students; about the faculty member who came to Colorado State prepared to make a difference — and did.

This is a University community that deserves support, and The Campaign for Colorado State University will help provide the solid, reliable resource base that will help sustain and advance this institution for generations to come.

This Campaign is about “Opening Doors, Changing Lives, and Transforming our World” — it’s about our character and relevance as a University community. As a member of our faculty, staff, and student body, you’ll play an active role in The Campaign’s outcome, and I invite you to join in, ask questions, and help make our first major fund-raising campaign a resounding success.

Thank you,

Dr. Tony Frank