The Oberlin Illuminate campaign has made significant progress in the last 12 months. In January of 2015, Oberlin announced that the campaign exceeded its original goal of $250 million, 18 months ahead of schedule. Fiscal 2015 closed at $264.2 million, and in the first six months of Fiscal 2016 we added over $30 million to that total. As Oberlin Illuminate moves into the final phase of the campaign, fundraising has topped $294.8 million. Between now and the campaign's finish on June 30, 2016, our goal is to exceed $300 million in total gifts and commitments.
Oberlin College has remained focused on achieving the goals for three key campaign priorities: Scholarships & Financial Aid, Health & Wellness and Hall Auditorium. Here are more details on each priority.
Scholarships & Financial Aid: We are approaching $70 million in gifts, pledges, and estate commitments to scholarships, which at $90 million is the largest priority of the campaign. Realized bequest gifts have accounted for over one-third of the total raised for scholarships, and more than 60% of the total bequests received in the campaign so far have gone to scholarships.
We have also received $26 million in estate commitments earmarked to be added to the unrestricted endowment. The combined value of these two categories brings the total over the $90 million mark, though the campaign remains committed to ending on the highest dollar figure possible in order to help the greatest number of students.
Health & Wellness: Recent commitments have pushed the total amount raised for the renovation of Carr Pool and the building of a new health & wellness/fitness center to over $11.5 million. The expectation was that the College would supplement fundraising with up to $4 million from the endowment, which would cover the expected $15.4 million cost of the project. However, when construction bids were received in mid-December, the true cost was almost 20 percent higher, due to the robust construction market in NE Ohio and higher than expected materials cost. As a result, the project has been delayed while additional fundraising and/or other less expensive options using existing but underutilized space in Philips Gym are evaluated.
Hall Auditorium: In recent weeks, four significant gifts have been finalized toward the construction of a new adaptable theater, lobby and back-of-the-house spaces to be built as an addition to the south side of Hall Auditorium. These gifts, total $9.6 million toward the estimated $12-$14 million cost of the project. The planning process for Hall continues to move forward as additional significant gifts are sought to close this remaining gap.
Campaign Ending & Celebration
Oberlin Illuminate ends on June 30, 2016, and the official on-campus celebration will take place on Friday, October 7, 2016.
With the help of our alumni, friends, staff, students, and partners, Oberlin College is on track to a very strong finish to the Oberlin Illuminate campaign. We appreciate the hard work of everyone who played a roll over the years and look forward to celebrating our success later this year.