Bishop’s University surprised itself with a massive fundraising campaign that far exceeded the institution’s goals.

The Leading the Way Campaign intended to raise $30 million, and as of Thursday reached $40.5 million in charitable donations, 33 per cent over its initial target.

It is the most successful campaign in the Eastern Townships university’s 174-year history.

The funds will go to educational initiative and capital projects, including scholarships, bursaries and awards, a teaching endowment, funding for student projects and money earmarked for a lecture series hosted on campus.

The Quebec government has provided $5.6 million in matching funds for the campaign.

Many of the donations came from students, faculty and staff, said Tim Griffin, the campaign’s co-chair, in a news release.

“The $1 million contributed by the students and the 80 per cent participation rate by faculty and staff, which is one of the highest participation rates for any university in Canada, are a testament to our community’s profound commitment to Bishop’s,”he said.

The Leading the Way Campaign was launched in 2012.