Citadel Foundation raises $250 million in historic anniversary campaign

Citadel Foundation Featured Logo

Results outpace initial $175 million goal for 175th Anniversary

The Citadel Foundation has successfully completed the most ambitious fundraising effort in the college’s 175-year history. The six-year Foundation for Leadership campaign sought to raise $175 million to celebrate the college’s milestone anniversary. It concluded this week with a record-breaking total of $250,690,056 to support The LEAD Plan 2018, the college’s strategic plan led by the president of The Citadel, Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, who will retire June 30.

The foundation hosted a celebration of the campaign’s success on campus May 12, honoring the 20,784 donors who contributed.

“Our alumni, friends and community partners stepped forward in force to support this campaign, investing an astonishing quarter of a billion dollars in the future of The Citadel,” said Rosa. “This historic campaign will help ensure a Citadel education remains accessible to men and women with a profound interest in leadership learning and academic excellence through the values-based education we provide.”

The Foundation for Leadership campaign focused on five priority areas deemed vital for enhancing the college and ensuring its continued success: leadership and the cadet experience, academic excellence, athletics, facilities and strategic growth. A sixth category of legacy giving tracked bequests and estate gifts to each priority area that will be realized in future years. By enhancing these campus priorities, the campaign helps secure the continuation of The Citadel’s reputation as the preeminent college of principled leadership in the nation.

“When we launched this campaign, we chose an ambitious goal of $175 million with the loyalty and commitment of our alumni and friends in mind,” said Bud Watts, chairman of The Citadel Foundation Board of Directors and co-chair of the Foundation for Leadership campaign. “Surpassing this goal by such a wide margin is a remarkable testament to both their generosity and the depth of their support for The Citadel and its mission of educating principled leaders.”

Watts, a member of The Citadel Class of 1983, also credited The Citadel Foundation’s staff for its expertise in matching the philanthropic interests of donors with the strategic needs of the college, a linchpin of the campaign’s unprecedented success.

Supported by a steering committee of 33 committed volunteers, the campaign reflects both the generosity and the loyalty of countless individuals.  “The dedication and commitment of our alumni and friends speaks volumes to how they feel about the institution and its position of importance in South Carolina and our nation in developing principled leaders,” said Dr. John P. “Jay” Dowd, III, CEO of The Citadel Foundation and Vice President of Institutional Advancement at The Citadel.  “I could not be more proud of the efforts put forth by the team of professionals at The Citadel Foundation to meet and exceed the campaign priorities.  A true team effort.”

The Citadel Foundation proudly thanks the thousands of alumni, parents, friends, corporations, faculty and staff who stepped forward with their support to lay the foundation for The Citadel’s future.

Foundation for Leadership campaign summary

Total Amount Raised:                  $250,690,056

Initial Goal:                                  $175,000,000

Percentage of goal achieved:     143%

The Foundation for Leadership campaign supported five key segments of The Citadel with specific advancement objectives and exceeded the original overall goal by almost $76 million. Here is a breakdown of how campaign funding is already making an impact on campus:

Leadership and the Cadet Experience

Examples of applications include:

  • Endowing leadership development program supporting a 4-year leadership transcript for each graduating cadet
  • Endowing the Medal of Honor Recipient Award Speaker Series

Academic Excellence

Examples of applications include:

  • Endowing and naming two academic schools: The Zucker Family School of Education through the generosity of Anita Zucker and family, and the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business through the transformational generosity of Victoria and Tommy Baker, ’72
  • Launching the Swain Department of Nursing, made possible by the financial support of the Swain family in 2017
  • Cybersecurity National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education
  • Department of Intelligence and Security Studies
  • New Accounting, Construction Management, and Mechanical Engineering majors
  • Expansion of study abroad experiences to include 18 programs in 22 countries


Examples of applications include:

  • Seventy-six new Athletic Memorial Scholarships and four endowed full scholarships for cadet athletes


Examples of applications include:

  • New school of business building, Bastin Hall, under construction through the generosity of Rick Bastin, ’65, and his wife, Mary Lee
  • New Swain Boat Center under construction due to generosity of Chris, ‘81, and Debbie Swain
  • Pledges and $5 million raised for planning for the development of a new Capers Hall with construction slated for 2020

Strategic Growth

Examples of applications include:

  • The Citadel War Memorial paying tribute to Citadel alumni who gave their lives in  defense of America
  • Infusion of $19,866,879 into The Citadel’s academic endowment
  • Alumni class reunion projects with 52 percent alumni participation (11,898 individuals)

Legacy Gifts

Examples of applications include:

  • Legacy gifts such as bequests and estate gifts will provide revenue for the future support of the campaign priorities above for years to come


  • Federal and foundation-funded grants for research to the college valued at $11,361,360, with a nearly 200% increase in grant revenue from 2012 to 2018

For a more detailed breakout, or for more information, please email