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September 22, 2013

Harvard President Drew Faust speaks during The Harvard Campaign launch inside Sanders Theatre at Harvard University. (Kris Snibbe/Harvard)

Facing federal budget cuts, one of the world’s most prestigious universities is launching a colossal capital campaign. Harvard University’s new fundraising effort announced on Saturday could become the largest ever in higher education.

Harvard hopes to rake in $6.5 billion by 2018. If successful, America’s oldest institute of higher learning would surpass Stanford University’s five-year $6.2 billion campaign that finished last year.

In this highly-produced online video, Harvard says 70 percent of its students receive institutional aid. Speaking at Sanders Theatre on Saturday, President Drew Faust said its capital campaign will help Harvard to continue that trend, to renovate dorms and to expand its school of engineering.

With Congress gridlocked, the University stands to lose at least $40 million each year in across-the board federal spending cuts. Of course, that would be a drop in the bucket if Harvard manages to reach its goal.

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