Amherst College has surpassed its fund-raising goal in a five-year campaign by nearly $80 million.
The fund-raising drive realized about $502 million. It began in October 2008 as the stock market plunged at the beginning of the worst recession in decades, causing the liberal arts college’s endowment to lose about one-fourth of its value.
The priorities of the drive included maintaining the college’s financial aid policies and fostering faculty-student research.
‘‘The campaign was not only launched during a challenging time, but it succeeded during the worst downturn since the Great Depression,’’ President Biddy Martin said.
Anonymous donations of more than $138 million included separate gifts of $100 million and $25 million, Martin said. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.