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The Five-in-Five Challenge: College increases fundraising goal as campaign nears finish line

With The Campaign for TCNJ entering its home stretch, the college is upping the stakes. In response to a challenge from the Board of Trustees, President R. Barbara Gitenstein has pledged to raise an additional $5 million by the campaign’s June 30 conclusion. The announcement comes a week after she revealed that the fundraising effort had surpassed its original $40 million goal.

Five in five will be our rallying cry as we sprint to the finish line,” said Gitenstein, referring to the amount to be raised and the time allotted in which to do it. “While this goal is a stretch, the tremendous support we have received from our TCNJ family and friends and the hard work and dedication of our campaign volunteers give me confidence that this is within our reach.”

The stretch goal represents a 12.5 percent increase over the campaign’s original target—a figure that many thought was unattainable. Jorge Caballero, chairman of the TCNJ Board of Trustees, referenced this fact in presenting this challenge.

“Before this campaign began, the experts told us the most we could hope to raise would be $25 million,” said Caballero at the board’s February 15 meeting. “But this college never takes the easy path. It consistently strives to go further and it always excels when it does. It is in that spirit that we issue this challenge.”

Campaign co-chairs Barbara Meyers Pelson ’59 and Allen Silk are determined to maintain momentum. Last week, in a message to volunteers, they sought to rally the troops and set the stage for success.

“There are still many prospects with the desire to give but who have not yet made their gift,” they wrote. “There is still time for them to be a part of this historic moment.”

As of January 30, 11,891 donors had contributed more than $40.1 million to the campaign. The majority of this philanthropy—more than $22 million—is earmarked for student support. An additional $15 million is dedicated to enhancing the student experience. The other campaign priorities are academic enrichment (including support for faculty research and scholarship) and capital improvements. The Campaign for TCNJ—subtitled “Innovate, Inspire, Engage”—is the college’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising effort.