Looking Ahead

Students and faculty working on the Cavalair Project, which aims to conduct research to allow smarter approaches to HVAC system usage

President Dwight Eisenhower once remarked that “plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” While that may be a little heavy-handed, planning is indeed a valuable process. It is a chance to share ideas, discuss, debate, and decide.

The Jefferson Trust recently completed a strategic plan and, even more than any new operation or activity, is setting a new long-term goal. Trustees set an ambitious target of doubling the endowment to $100 million, which will provide $4 million in annual grant funding and the opportunity to make a single grant of $1 million.

“This is an ambitious goal for the Jefferson Trust and one that lives up to a principle of the strategic plan — to maximize the Trust’s value,” says Governance Committee Chair Nick Melton. “We see enormous potential for donors to build a legacy in the Trust and for the Trust to amplify these gift and time commitments to have a lasting impact on and beyond Grounds.”

The goal is also an acknowledgement that we have heard the University community’s call for more support, and we are making this promise to provide it.

When the Trust was formed in 2006, its founders dreamed of a day when the Trust could award $1 million in a single year. Having eclipsed that mark in 2020, this new grantmaking level will make a larger impact across Grounds and see more great ideas come to fruition.