I’m delighted to report that the Campaign for Harvard Divinity School came to a resounding close last June. Its success exceeded our wildest hopes.
We started with a goal of $50M—more than the School had ever raised in its 200-year history. With your help, we finished with over $77M. On behalf of everyone in the HDS community, thank you for your support.
The true goal of the campaign, of course, was to advance a mission: to increase knowledge of the world’s religious traditions; to meet the twenty-first century’s need for spiritual leadership; and to serve humanity through the education of religiously literate, ethical professionals in all fields.
Those goals in mind, the Campaign for Harvard Divinity School has already inspired tremendous change, including creative collaborations with other schools that have helped Harvard earn the world’s top ranking for the study of religion; the addition of dynamic scholars, including Cornel West, Ousmane Kane, and Todne Thomas, who bring new vitality and perspective to our research; and the launch of initiatives that extend the impact of our work far beyond campus, such as the Religious Literacy Project, Religions and the Practice of Peace, and June’s pilot executive education program.
The campaign will enable us to reach even higher in the years to come. With the renewal of our teaching, learning, and convening spaces, HDS will bring people together for the conversations between different traditions that are crucial for human flourishing. HDS will spread knowledge of the way that religion shapes the everyday lives of real people around the world through new massive open online courses on the EdX platform. Perhaps most of all, HDS will, through new curriculum that engages with big ethical questions, educate leaders who work to ensure that humans live responsibly on the planet so that they and all species may thrive.
To realize these heady aspirations, the School will need to reach out in ways it never has before. We must continue to strengthen our networks and ties outside of the United States if the work we do is to reflect the diversity of the traditions we study. And—as we have started to do with Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and others—we will need to partner with colleagues around Harvard University to make more effective our joint efforts to address the most pressing challenges of our time.
We have these opportunities thanks to your support. With you as our partners, we can transform them into realities that make a world of difference.
Thank you for all you do for Harvard Divinity School.
David N. Hempton
Dean of the Faculty of Divinity
Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies
John Lord O’Brian Professor of Divinity