Virginia Tech launches capital campaign, brings in stars for free concert

The university aims to raise $1.5 billion

By Shayne Dwyer - Reporter

BLACKSBURG, Va. - On Friday, Virginia Tech kicked off its 10 year capital campaign, 'Boundless Impact,' to raise $1.5 billion over the course of the campaign.

While the university president and alumni attended a suit and tie event, students enjoyed a free concert on the drill field to celebrate. The show featured DJ Earworm, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Anderson .Paak.

The campaign is aimed at alumni, but Virginia Tech wanted the students involved too.

"It's important because they're going to remember this, this is a fun event, they're going to remember this activity, and hopefully they'll remember it someday maybe 20, 30 years down the road when they will also give back to future Hokies in terms of investing in their future," Virginia Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski said.

Many Virginia Tech alumni helped produce the show. This is the university's fourth capital campaign.

"October 11, 2019 -- Virginia Tech announced the most ambitious fundraising and engagement campaign in university history on a night in which thousands gathered on campus to celebrate the occasion and their school’s growing impact in the commonwealth and beyond.  

Boundless Impact: The Campaign for Virginia Tech has a goal to raise $1.5 billion to fuel excellence across all university programs and drive forward major strategic priorities. A second goal is to engage 100,000 alumni in meaningful ways over the course of the campaign, which is projected to run until June 30, 2027.

“We are at a unique moment in our history, grounded by nearly 150 years of tradition and shaped by a steadfast mission to serve humanity and take our place in the world as a catalyst for innovation that impacts everyday life,” said university President Tim Sands. “It’s a challenging vision, the kind of challenge that always brings out the best in the Virginia Tech community.”


The campaign goal was announced at an event at the Moss Arts Center attended by hundreds, while thousands more Hokies enjoyed a concert on the Drillfield headlined by Anderson .Paak. Both events were organized to mark the historic occasion of Virginia Tech announcing its fourth-ever national campaign. Earlier campaigns were announced in 1983, 1995, and 2007.

“Virginia Tech’s history is defined by moments in which Hokies have stepped forward in a bold way to push the university to new levels of excellence,” said Charlie Phlegar, the university’s vice president for advancement. “This is one of those moments.”

The campaign is expected to fuel major initiatives all across the university. These include innovative new collaborations to solve complex problems, constructing a four-building Global Business and Analytics Complex in Blacksburg, investing in cutting-edge research in health sciences to push the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke forward, and maximizing the impact of the emerging Innovation Campus in the greater Washington, D.C., area.

Other major campaign priorities are to help Virginia Tech reach its inclusion and diversity recruiting goals, which include 40 percent of the student body coming from groups that are underrepresented or underserved, and to support innovative new ways of learning through internships, collaborations, and other programs that go beyond the classroom to prepare students to thrive on transdisciplinary teams.

Beyond those university-wide priorities, every Virginia Tech college and many of the university’s major programs have campaign goals that align with their strategic plans.

On the same night the university-wide campaign was announced, members of the Class of 2020 also kicked off Virginia Tech’s Senior Class Gift Campaign, which will run through the end of the university’s fiscal year, June 30, 2020.

“The Boundless Impact campaign will generate the philanthropic resources that are critical to success, and it will enhance and nurture the Virginia Tech culture by engaging more alumni, students, parents, and friends than ever before,” said Morgan Blackwood Patel ’03, who is a campaign tri-chair along with Horacio Valeiras ’80 and Lynne Doughtie ’85. “This campaign is a way to bring Hokies together for something that is truly important — the future of the university that we love.”

Doughtie enrolled at Virginia Tech as the first member of her family to go to college and went on to become the first female CEO at KPMG LLP, one of the world’s leading professional service firms.

“I’ve stayed involved in the university, and I give back, because I want to make sure tomorrow’s Hokies can build on their experience just like I did,” Doughtie said. “I want them to know their horizons are limited only by their hard work.”

Valeiras is rector of the university’s Board of Visitors as well as being a campaign tri-chair.

“This campaign is new, but it’s part of an exciting story that has been building for years as university leaders have had the courage to think bigger about what Virginia Tech’s role in the world can be,” he said. “Virginia Tech is emerging on the global stage as it inspires and empowers people to learn, innovate, and serve. By participating in this campaign, Hokies from everywhere can come together to propel our university to greatness.”

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