Chapman University has achieved its most successful fundraising year yet, and the university is continuing its transformational trajectory towards becoming one of the elite academic institutions in the country, campus leaders said during the annual State of the University address on Feb. 9.
The event at Musco Center opened with a performance by the Juilliard String Quartet, one of the top chamber music ensembles in the world, along with a video that spotlighted just a few of the many achievements by the university’s schools and colleges.
“It’s always one of the highlights of the year for me to walk on this stage,” said Chapman President Daniele C. Struppa as he began his address. “I love to see so many of you here, so many friends, colleagues, faculty, students … Thank you for your support.”
President Struppa began his address by highlighting major accomplishments from the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, “Engineering the Future.” These include:
- Establishing the Fowler School of Engineering and opening the Swenson Family Hall of Engineering
- The expansion of the university’s research agenda
- Supporting the changing student profile through targeted DEI initiatives and investments
- New buildings such as the “K” Residence Hall and the Sandi Simon Center for Dance
- The launch of a $500 million comprehensive campaign
Turning his attention to the current Strategic Plan, “Our Path to Greatness,” Struppa described the university’s ongoing evolution from a regional teaching institution into a national institution renowned for both teaching and research.
“The momentum will take us to become one of the very top institutions in the country,” he said. “This is going to take between 5 and 15 years. This is not something that we’re going to see tomorrow. But we need to put in place all the elements we need to go there.”
The presentation showcased many of the efforts across campus to advance the university’s strategic goals, including:
- Hiring and developing germinal faculty
- Programs to improve student retention and graduation rates
- Progress towards becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution
- New leadership across colleges, schools and departments
President Struppa also shared an overview of ongoing campus projects, such as the newly completed campus center at Rinker, the purchase of Chapman Court and the renovation of the Killefer School, which will become the new home of the Institute for Quantum Studies, Quantum Optics Lab and the Advanced Physics Laboratory.
A special mention was made about the Grand Opening of the newly expanded Hilbert Museum, which will take place on Feb. 23.
“It really is an incredible facility,” said Struppa, who showed photos of the restored Millard Sheets mosaic that now hangs over the museum’s main entrance.
“It’s a beautiful location,” he added. “As you arrive in Orange by train you get off at the station, and this is how you are welcomed to our city. To me, that’s important because you know how much I care about our relationship between Chapman and the City of Orange. I always say that one of the reasons for our success is the beautiful city of Orange … When we do something like this we are returning the favor to the city and showing them how important we can be for them.”
An Inspirational Year of Giving
President Struppa then ceded the stage to Matt Parlow, executive vice president and chief advancement officer, for an update on the ongoing comprehensive campaign and Chapman’s record fundraising year.
“As you can see things are going really well at Chapman University. We are thriving on so many metrics and in so many different ways,” said Parlow as he began his overview of the campaign, which has a goal of raising $500 million by 2028.
“As we sit here today we are over $370 million,” he said. “Our friends and supporters, all the members of the Chapman Family, are really stepping up to help us achieve those goals.”
Parlow’s presentation included a summary of the many impactful gifts received by Chapman over the past year, including naming gifts, funds to support faculty research and initiatives, more than a dozen endowed chairs and professorships and student scholarships.
Fundraising efforts have focused particularly on the endowment, which has grown to over $745 million, a significant step towards the ultimate goal of building a $2 billion endowment by 2038.
“A strong endowment helps provide resources to be able to fund all of our hopes and dreams for what Chapman’s future looks like,” said Parlow.
“We have a goal in the next series of strategic plans to try to grow Chapman University into one of the truly elite academic institutions. It’s consistent with our trajectory as we’ve evolved from a regional college 30 years ago to the comprehensive R2 research university that we are today,” he said.
“As you can see, there are great things happening at Chapman right now and the future looks even brighter,” said Parlow.
At the conclusion of the presentation, President Struppa joined Parlow on stage for the announcement of yet another major gift from Board of Trustees Chairman Emeritus Doy Henley. The gift will establish the Doy B. Henley School of Management within the Argyros College of Business and Economics.
“Chapman is what it is today because of Doy Henley and his incredible leadership on the Board of Trustees,” said President Struppa. “With his great success in the business community and as a board leader, it’s fitting that the school of management will bear his name.”
Watch the full 2024 State of the University address, and learn more about Chapman University’s Strategic Plan, “Our Path to Greatness.”