External Bridges​

Stevens experienced extraordinary fundraising results during FY18. New gifts and commitments reached a record $47.6 million and propelled the total of The Power of Stevens campaign to $161.7 million, exceeding its goal more than six months ahead of the December 2018 target date. Alumni giving reached a new record of 18%. Stevens’ U.S. News & World Report ranking was #70 in Fall 2018, compared to #69 in 2017, and there was an improvement in the high school counselor ranking. A significant number of facilities, landscaping, signage, and communications activities enhanced the campus visitor experience, and consistent with prior years, a wide variety of initiatives were implemented to demonstrate Stevens’ value and contributions to the Hoboken community. A “Corporate-Friendly” Committee was formed and will deliver its recommendations at the end of 2018.


Goal E1

Through The Power of Stevens campaign, we will secure at least $150 million in new gifts and pledges by December 31, 2018 and continue to elevate the level of philanthropic support in the post-campaign period. We will achieve an $80 million growth in the value of the endowment over 10-years (as calculated by new gifts and pledges and bequest expectancies, but not including return on investment), from a baseline of $144 million as of June 30, 2011 and $166 million as of June 30, 2016.


Stevens experienced extraordinary fundraising results during FY18. New gifts and commitments reached a record $47.6 million and propelled the total of The Power of Stevens campaign to $161.7 million, exceeding its goal more than six months ahead of the December 2018 target date. A total of 4,999 unique donors—a new record—made gifts, compared to 3,501 in 2011 and 4,890 in FY2017. Undergraduate alumni giving participation increased from 16% to 18%. These results led President Farvardin and the Board of Trustees to increase the campaign goal to $200 million and expand the timetable to coincide with the university’s 150th anniversary in 2020-21.

The fundraising total for FY18 also included a record-setting gift of endowment, $15 million from the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation for scholarships, and overall total endowment commitments (new gifts and pledges and bequest expectancies) of $20.4 million. Since 2012, more than $72 million in gifts and commitments for endowment have been secured.

Plans are underway to meet or exceed the new campaign goal by or before the university’s 150th anniversary celebration with growth expected in both the overall number of donors and the number of major gifts at the $25,000 and greater level.

Y6_E1_Endowment Giving

Goal E2

We will expand and diversify opportunities for alumni to be more engaged with Stevens, in ways that lead to growth in the university’s donor base. The undergraduate alumni giving rate will increase from a 2011 baseline of 17 percent to at least 19 percent by 2017 and to 21 percent by 2022. The average gift, as measured by all gifts above $10 and under $10,000 from alumni, will increase from the 2011 baseline of $353 to $433 in 2016 and $550 by 2022. The Office of Development will work closely with academic units in order to increase donations that support and directly relate to the academic enterprise.


Since 2012, there has been significant growth in the university’s donor base, from 3,501 to 4,999 in FY18. The actual giving participation rate of undergraduate alumni giving has fluctuated in recent years, however, due to the very sharp increase in the alumni population (the result of larger recent graduating classes) and improvement in obtaining contact information for alumni. Adding to the challenge has been a multi-decade national trend of declining giving rates in higher education, although the level of philanthropic support has continued to rise. Fewer donors are giving more, while donors of smaller gifts, especially young alumni, increasingly favor grass-roots and cause-oriented charities.

Stevens has countered the national trend, albeit with growth not matching the ambitious goals of the strategic plan. The giving participation rate climbed from 16% in FY17 to 18% in FY18. The Development and Alumni program has been creative in appeals to the “affinities” of alumni (e.g., class year, Greek, athletic, and student club affiliations), in the innovative use of matching gifts and competitions, and by employing social media to connect with alumni more effectively. A more robust set of engagement opportunities, from regional clubs to professional networking events, has promoted closer ties among alumni with each other and with Stevens.

The average gift size has increased from $353 in FY11 to $403 in FY18 but has declined in recent years ($433 in FY16 and $423 in FY17). This reflects two dynamics: the rapid increase in the number of recent graduates, and the intense push for giving participation that drives up the number of small gifts. Going forward, the measure for average gift size might be segmented by a combination of class year and giving threshold. The goal of increasing the average gift size of GOLD (graduates of the last decade) alumni might be very modest, while the goal for alumni who graduated 11 to 25 years ago should be more ambitious. Giving participation should be the primary goal for young alumni, while increasing average gift size and maintaining participation rates would be the goals for older alumni.

The Office of Development & Alumni Engagement has recently worked more closely and in collaboration with the academic enterprise, including through regular reporting and collaboration on advisory boards. During FY18, additional attention was devoted to securing support for associate/assistant professorship positions, fellowships, and a range of academic units including Computer Science, the Stevens Venture Center, quantitative finance, energy research, and the Stevens Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

Y6_E2_Undergraduate_Alumni_Giving_Rate (1)

Goal E3

We will enhance and expand the reputation and increase the prestige of Stevens Institute of Technology among peer institutions, graduate and undergraduate admissions stakeholder groups, business and industry, the media, and other key constituencies commensurate with our substantial contributions in research, the stellar educational, career outcomes and societal impact of our graduates, and our legacy of innovation. We will monitor all generally accepted metrics, and, in particular, the Stevens peer assessment ranking in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges edition will be at least 103 in 2022, compared to 140 in the 2012 edition and 123 in the 2017 edition.


The Division of Communications and Marketing (DCM) continued activities to advance the reputation support effort with peer school presidents, provosts and deans of admissions as well as with high school counselors. Leaders at 310 national colleges and universities who participate in the U.S. News & World Report survey were the recipients of targeted emails, direct mail, higher education advertising, and social media, all of which highlighted Stevens’ research activities, student outcomes, and university accomplishments. Stevens’ ranking in the Fall 2018 USNWR was #70, compared to #69 in Fall 2017. Stevens moved up slightly in both the peer assessment and guidance counselor rankings that comprise this calculation.

A broad range of media outlets including The New York Times, NBC, CNN, Business Insider, Bloomberg, Fox News, Newsweek and many others have featured Stevens research, professors and students during the past year.


Goal E4

Our campus will reflect our proud legacy, our student-centricity, our technology focus, and our commitment to global impact. A compelling campus visitor experience will be created that conveys our rich history, our transformative aspirations for the future, the achievements of our alumni, our educational philosophy, our commitment to sustainability, and our strong relationship with Hoboken. The campus will be a source of pride and engagement for our entire community, inclusive of all key stakeholders in Hoboken.


A wide variety of facilities improvements, signage and wayfinding planning, and communications activities were completed or initiated during Year 6:

The McLean lobby was completed in Summer 2017, and an assessment of heavily-trafficked public areas in campus buildings was conducted to prioritize additional spaces for renovation/updating. A new entrance plaza outside the newly-renovated McLean lobby will be completed in FY19. Installation of coordinated themed graphics exhibiting Stevens’ history and mission in elevator lobbies of the Howe building was completed on Floors 8, 11, and 13. Renovation of the Taylor Board Room was also completed.

A new campus signage and wayfinding program was developed, along with standards for all exterior, campus-wide signage. To assist visitor navigation and to support Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions, a mobile-optimized virtual campus tour was completed and launched in Fall 2017. It includes featured tour spots and facility information, interactive video content, video interviews with students, campus images, and a new campus map.

A new landscape architectural firm was hired and completed a master plan for the entire campus, including hardscape and softscape elements. Via a planting “playbook” it identifies key areas of the campus to focus improvements and recommends proper plantings for a colorful, hearty campus canvas.

Transportation demand management (TDM) and shuttle optimization efforts continued to mitigate the volume of personal vehicles on campus and related parking impacts. In addition, the completion of the Babbio Garage in early 2018 added 266 additional spaces to the campus parking inventory, largely satisfying the current parking demand.

In addition to the sustainability efforts described in Goal I7, a new green infrastructure garden enclosed by a wrought iron fence (replacing a chain link fence), was installed at the corner of Eighth and Hudson Streets at the border of the campus. Also, the installation of five electric vehicle charging stations for use by the Stevens community has been successfully implemented, as was the installation of additional bicycle parking spaces. The installation of dozens of electric sub-meters has been completed; these provide data on the energy usage for each building, identifying opportunities to reduce electric usage. Water bottle filling stations have also been installed throughout the campus. In addition, the Stevens website was further enhanced to include in one location information on sustainability initiatives across campus.

Updates and news of recent accomplishments by the university community continue to be posted on large LG monitors situated throughout the campus. Lastly, a web page on Stevens’ history and accomplishments was added to the Stevens site.

Goal E5

We will continue to develop synergies and collaborations between Stevens and the Hoboken community that span academic and research interests, student life and volunteerism, employee and community engagement, cultural and performing arts programming, entrepreneurship and economic impact, and other areas that contribute to the mutual benefit of Stevens and Hoboken.


Continuing the efforts begun in recent years and highlighted on the Stevens Connects web page, Year 6 activities involving Hoboken community members and students included: K-12 outreach and programming, spanning activities such as “STEM-a-thon,” a day of STEM hands-on activities for 300 Grade 8 Hoboken students; the Ducklings Program, an outreach efforts to Hoboken students by Athletics; the Hoboken Junior Senior High School Scholarship; Stevens ACES (Accessing Careers in Engineering and Sciences), providing engagement and support for Hoboken High School, including Pre-College and Stevens scholarships; and a variety of faculty-led initiatives such as Trading Day, Senior Design projects focusing on Hoboken challenges, the Math Olympiad, and more.

In addition, a variety of intellectual and cultural programming and community outreach efforts have benefited members of the Hoboken community, including OnStage@Stevens, featuring the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; DeBaun Performing Arts Center performances; athletics events; on-campus lectures, seminars, and conferences open to the public, including the President’s Distinguished Lecture Series; and a number of social events such as the Hoxie House holiday reception and annual Hoboken community barbecue.

A number of Technology, Innovation, Business and Entrepreneurship Programs benefiting Hoboken were also held in Year 6, including: the launch of the Hoboken Innovation Leadership Roundtable, co-hosted by President Nariman Farvardin and Mayor Ravinder Bhalla, for C-suite executives in Hoboken to enhance Hoboken’s technology innovation ecosystem; participation by Hoboken business executives as Entrepreneurs in Residence at the Stevens Venture Center; hosting monthly meetings of the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce (and participation on the Chamber Board); and hosting monthly NJ Tech Meetup meetings; among others.

Volunteerism remained a high priority for students, student organizations, athletics, and faculty and staff. Among the many activities undertaken in Year 6 were service projects during orientation activities in Fall 2018 including for Hoboken Grace, Hoboken Shelter, True Mentors, Hoboken Community Center, St. Matthew Lutheran Trinity Church, and Partnership for Parks (NYC). Stevens also partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to build a community-wide educational initiative to raise awareness about suicide prevention. This partnership also included co-sponsorship of the Hoboken/Stevens Out of the Darkness Walk. There were a number of initiatives in which APO and social fraternities and sororities supported various local organizations to promote philanthropy and service. In particular, Athletics implemented several service initiatives including “Top of the V” Service Day, Park Cleaning, School Clean Up, and Lunch Service at 9th Street Ministry, “Random Act of Kindness” Day, and Field Day with Hoboken Boys & Girls Club.

Stevens continued to host a number of important programs for the City of Hoboken and Hoboken-based non-profit organizations, including the 2017 Mayoral Forum, the Hoboken Junior Police Academy, the Hoboken Fire and Police Department trainings and events, and the NJ Tech Meetup monthly meetings.

Additional information is available on the Stevens Connects web page.

Goal E6

We will forge a small number of meaningful and mutually-beneficial agreements with prestigious domestic and international partner institutions that significantly enhance the work of the faculty and the learning opportunities for students from both universities.


While there has not been significant progress in forging substantial, multi-faceted partnerships with prestigious domestic and international institutions, there has been significant growth in participation in study abroad and student exchange programs. In particular, there was a 730% increase in the number of students participating in international experiences (from 23 to 191 students) from 2011 to the present. These experiences have included semester-long engagements, short-term undergraduate research excursions, international service trips, and internships. While the numbers are still relatively small in comparison to the total undergraduate population, there is continued progress. In the one-year period, between AY16-17 and AY17-18, there was 58% growth (121 to 191 students) in the number of students that participated in an international experience.

In addition, in the last academic year, Stevens received 16 exchange students, 10 in the fall and 6 in the spring. Of the 16, four were graduate students and the remainder were undergraduates. The partners represented are the University of Amsterdam, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, KU Leuven, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, The University of Passau, and China Europe International Business School.

Twenty-two requests for partnerships with universities abroad were considered, including universities in China, India, France, and Switzerland.

Goal E7

Stevens will become a more corporate-friendly university in all its dimensions: undergraduate and graduate student engagements with corporations (including internships, co-operative education, student and faculty projects, and career transition), research collaborations, corporate and professional education programs, philanthropic support, and other joint programs.


During Year 6, a corporate liaison model of engagement with corporations was piloted, with leadership from the Office of Development and participation from the Vice Provost for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Career Center, and other relevant units. In order to refine and improve this model, and to further understand and address structural or policy barriers to improved university-corporate relations, a “Corporate-Friendly Committee,” comprised of representatives of all offices that interact with corporations and co-chaired by Dean Jean Zu and Vice President and General Counsel Kathy Schulz, was created. The Committee’s charge includes two specific foci:

  • make Stevens more flexible, friendly and agile in working with industry; simplify and streamline development of legal and contractual agreements; and create an efficient and clear set of processes for Stevens-industry interaction; and,

  • ensure that the various offices that interface with corporations communicate with each other and collaborate to maximize the benefit to Stevens. Examples of such offices are: Office of the General Counsel; Office of Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Offices of the Provost and Deans; Division of Development and Alumni Engagement; Office of Career Services; and Office of Graduate and Corporate Education.

The Committee has formed several sub-committees to gather insights about a variety of issues and challenges; has administered an online survey of faculty and researchers; has conducted benchmarking; and has elicited input from other important stakeholders, including the President’s Leadership Council.

Recommendations of the Committee will be presented by the end of 2018.