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USD Outlines Plan to Raise $47.5 Million

Times Staff Writer

The University of San Diego outlined plans Thursday to raise $47.5 million to pay for campus improvements, the largest fund drive in the history of higher education in San Diego, officials of the private institution said.

One aim of the fund-raising effort, which began about a year ago, is to focus on more global issues and to “internationalize” the campus, officials said.

The money--$20.65 million of which has already been raised from trustees, past contributors, corporations and foundations--will be used to broaden the school’s curriculum, improve campus facilities, provide intercultural experiences for faculty and increase enrollment so that the student body is more reflective of the San Diego community, said Author E. Hughes, the university’s president.

Less ‘Tuition-Dependent’

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“At private universities . . . hearts are nourished with the spirit of service to communities,” Hughes said. But, in order to offer a private education to everyone who wants to attend, the USD administration must make the university less “tuition-dependent,” Hughes said.

To help make that change, the university has earmarked $12 million from the fund-raising effort for new student scholarships, primarily for minority students, Hughes said.

Hughes expressed concern about the lack of minority students at the school, a presence that is needed because it “enriches the educational experience of all students,” he said.

About 14% of the university’s students are minority members, and Hughes said the goal is to increase that to 20% within 5 to 10 years.

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“With the endowment fund, we’ll be able to enroll more minorities than we’ve been able to attract thus far,” Hughes said. The university’s current endowment fund totals $10.4 million.

The university has also designated other areas in which it hopes to spend the new money, such as $16.5 million for curriculum improvements and more faculty; $16.5 million for improvements to the University Center, the Legal Research Center, the pedestrian mall and a new Child Development Center, and $2.5 million that will not be targeted for any specific project.

The campaign drive, which is expected to run through the early 1990s, is being led by San Diego philanthropist Joanne Warren, a trustee of the university. Warren’s daughter, a freshman, attends the school.

“We view (the campaign) as an investment in San Diego and its future,” Warren said. “The endowment will enable us to have a more global perspective.”

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