Having reached its original $1.5 billion campaign goal nearly two years ahead of schedule, the Institute has launched an ambitious new phase of The Campaign for MIT.

The increased goal of $2 billion, approved by the MIT Corporation, is both a mark of great achievement and an indicator of the scope of future challenges, says Ray Stata,’57, the campaign chair.

When the original goal was set, the $1.5 billion figure seemed like a big stretch for MIT, notes Stata, co-founder and chairman of Massachusetts-based Analog Devices. But thanks to substantial boosts in support from private foundations and corporations, and the unprecedented generosity of individual donors, the Institute reached its original goal in October.

“Gifts from individuals are at nearly $1 billion since the start of the campaign counting period,” notes Stata. . “Just as important, more than half our graduates participated in making this achievement possible. That is far above the average for institutions like ours.”

The campaign chair says a similar commitment will be needed if MIT is to hit its new campaign target, but he also says that achieving the revised goal is critically important.

“MIT has a compelling vision for the future,” notes Stata. “If you look at the current roster of major initiatives, which range from neuroscience, to exciting activities in artificial intelligence and computer science, to innovative educational uses for information technology, you get a sense of its scope. Realizing this vision is the main reason we have increased our campaign goal.”

The additional $500 million to be raised over the campaign’s final years will be allocated as follows:

* Capital construction, including the Brain and Cognitive Sciences project and the East Campus Project (for the Sloan school and the economics department) — $150 million
* Graduate fellowships (with endowed naming opportunities from $200,000 to $800,000) — $150 million
* Undergraduate scholarships — $100 million
* Faculty support, and improvements to the living and learning environment for students — $100 million

The campaign is off to a good start toward meeting its increased goal. The impressive total of $100 million was raised between early October, when the original goal was met, and the end of December, making for a campaign total of $1.6 billion.