- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - The University of Kansas Endowment has reached a $1.2 billion fundraising goal two years early but officials say the effort will continue.

The endowment’s Far Above campaign met its goal last week after it received a $58 million gift from the estate of Madison and Lila Self, the largest individual gift in the university’s history. That brought the total raised so far to $1.218 billion.

Campaign chairman Kurt Watson said the last two years of the eight-year campaign will focus on using funds for student scholarships and faculty fellowships or professorships, rather than capital needs.

The Far Above campaign began in 2008 with a goal of raising $1 billion, which was raised in 2012 to $1.2 billion, the Lawrence Journal-World (https://bit.ly/1suJvO7 ) reported. The previous fundraising campaign, called KU First, had a $500 million goal and raised $653 million over 6½ years, said Jerome Davies, KU Endowment senior vice president for development.

Davies said several buildings under construction are being paid for from donations collected by the Far Above campaign. Among them are a new business school and engineering complex.

“There is no question in anyone’s mind that public funding for universities across the country is on a downward spiral,” Watson said. “If we’re going to not only keep KU at its current, very high level but raise the level of the university, it’s going to have to come through private philanthropy.”

The Selfs, who met on the KU campus in the early 1940s, died in 2013. Both were 91.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, https://www.ljworld.com

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