University School of Milwaukee’s five-year Our Common Bond campaign
closed on June 30, exceeding its $27 million goal by more than 13%. In total, the campaign finished with $30,673,264 in gift commitments from the school community. On behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of USM, thank you for your commitment to our collective future—we are extremely grateful.
Following years of planning, and rooted in the school’s culture of generosity, the Board of Trustees kicked off the $27 million comprehensive campaign in July 2015 with goals of $15 million in support of capital projects, $6 million in endowment support, and another $6 million in annual support for the USM Fund over the campaign’s five years. The campaign priorities were identified by faculty, staff, parents, alumni, trustees, consultants, and others through surveys, listening sessions, the strategic plan, and a feasibility study.
The outcomes of Our Common Bond have a direct and positive impact on our students’ daily lives. Our new facilities yield significant academic returns and provide long-lasting value to the school, while extending the spirit of community central to our mission. Additionally, the resulting growth in the school’s endowment helps maintain conservative tuition levels and provides resources for scholarships and financial aid, faculty compensation, programmatic enhancements, and strategic initiatives. Collectively, all gifts to the USM Fund during the five years of the campaign combined as the single largest contribution to Our Common Bond, a generous total of $6.8 million. As the school’s number-one fundraising priority, the USM Fund is the greatest source of dependable and flexible funding for the school and enhances all aspects of our students’ educational experiences.
Throughout the last five years, several community-wide events celebrated milestones of the campaign, including:
- The Our Common Bond Groundbreaking
- Dedications of spaces, including the Bruce ’81 and Jennifer Lee Community Room and Darrow Family Welcome Center, Lubar Center for Innovation and Exploration, Jack Olson ’67 Commons, Palermo Hall, Hauske Family Lobby, Abert Tooman Center for the Arts, Werner Family Art Gallery, Sardas-Trevorrow Band Room, and Stratton Family Orchestra Room, among others
- The ICE (Innovate-Create-Excel) Ball on April 14, 2018 celebrated the campaign’s success to date and launched the campaign’s community phase.
As a comprehensive campaign, each and every donor who made a gift between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2020 participated in the campaign’s successes—2,105 members of our community! Additionally, 206 donors directly supported specific campaign initiatives, and 57 families each contributed $100,000 or more. Additionally, Our Common Bond welcomed 100 new campaign donors.
Our Common Bond celebrated and enhanced our school community and directly impacts our students, both now and for generations to come.
USM shares its gratitude as we celebrate this significant accomplishment. Together, we have raised more than $30 million to transform the future of education at University School of Milwaukee, and we thank you for your important role in these successes.