From the Campaign Trail
This has been a challenging and exciting year for Giant Steps, Berklee's first-ever capital campaign. Thanks to the enormous generosity of many, the campaign has reached $36.8 million toward its $50 million goal. We've been overwhelmed by the generosity of all who have contributed, including alumni, student parents, faculty, staff, friends of the college, the Berklee Board of Trustees, and the Presidential Advisory Council. We're grateful for the philanthropy of every one of the donors listed on the following pages. In light of present economic challenges, these contributions are a testament to the importance of the initiatives that the Giant Steps campaign supports.
The campaign will provide the resources needed to keep Berklee at the forefront of music education and to nurture the best contemporary musicians in the world. Giant Steps gifts have enabled the college to increase scholarship support, expand and enhance Berklee's facilities, and foster innovative programs. As we work toward realizing our vision in these three areas, your continued support is vital.
Particularly in these economic times, scholarships are essential. Berklee awards more than $22 million in scholarships annually. These funds enable as many students as possible, and those who could not otherwise attend Berklee, to enroll. Interest in the college is stronger than ever; a record 4,753 people applied for admission this year. In the quest to attract the best and brightest young musicians, Berklee wants to ensure that money isn't an obstacle.
Providing leading-edge facilities for our students goes hand in hand with a state-of-the-art education. Dedicated music technology space is essential to the caliber of the college's stellar music technology coursework. Currently, the number of studios does not meet the ever-increasing needs of our creative student body. With funds from the capital campaign, we will increase studio space.
The college's beginnings are rooted in innovation. Berklee was initially established as a jazz institution at a time when the genre was only a few decades old. Since then, Berklee has led the charge in teaching an array of contemporary music styles, keeping pace with evolving musical styles and genres, and redefining the scope of music education. The Berklee City Music Program (BCMP), which provides music instruction and mentoring to underserved middle- and high-school students, is just one example of the innovative spirit at work. Your contributions will allow us to develop new programming to foster the artistic growth of these students. Support for BCMP continues to be strong. The annual Encore Gala, Berklee's largest single fundraising event, is going strong. Last year's gala raised $1.3 million and we hope to top that number this year.
Other examples of innovative projects include Berkleemusic.com, the college's online music school, and study-abroad programs in Athens, Greece, and Freiburg, Germany. Student-run enterprises-including two record labels, the BIRN Internet radio network, and Café 939, a 200-seat music concert venue and coffeehouse-offer opportunities for students to gain valuable real-world experience.
Thank you for supporting this great institution. Your ongoing philanthropy ensures that Berklee will continue to be an inspiring place for students to learn and make incredible music and acquire the tools to become the industry leaders of tomorrow. The generosity of our donors makes our vision for Berklee's future possible.
Debbie Bieri is Berklee's Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement