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Kent State Has Second Record-Breaking Fundraising Year

Posted Jul, 12, 2010

For the second year in a row, supporters of Kent State University have contributed a record-breaking sum to the institution. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, private contributions to the public research institution reached $39.9 million, beating last year’s record by nearly $3 million.

“Kent State supporters have truly demonstrated their generosity since we publicly announced the Centennial Campaign last year,” said Gene Finn, Kent State’s vice president for institutional advancement. “Despite numerous studies showing philanthropy dropping across the nation for the past two years, our alumni and friends have done the opposite and increased their giving, responding to our urgent calls to fund the student-focused excellence agenda.”

Among the fundraising highlights of the past year was a 15.9 percent increase in the number of donors, to 24,642. The number of contributors, most notably to the university’s Annual Fund, has returned to levels not seen since 2007, before the economic downturn.

“As I traveled the country this year to meet with alumni, I’ve been greeted with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to our vision for the next 100 years of this institution,” Kent State President Lester A. Lefton said. “That so many have stepped forward with private support for the Centennial Campaign speaks to their embracing of that vision, and the deep and longstanding ties created by the shared Kent State experience.”

Kent State’s previous yearly fundraising record was $37 million, set in fiscal year 2009.

Another success this year was the Campaign for Change (C4C), an initiative through which students raise funds to support their peers’ scholarships. This year, the C4C saw a 33 percent increase in the number of student donors, as well as a nearly 79 percent rise in the amount of money contributed.

All funds raised are part of the Kent State’s ongoing Centennial Campaign, which is raising $250 million in support of the university’s endowment, capital projects and current operations, with particular emphasis on student scholarships. As of June 30, the campaign has broken the $200 million mark and stands at $200.1 million toward the goal.

For the fiscal year, an additional $6.1 million was given to support student scholarships. Since the start of the campaign, $29.7 million has been raised to fund new and expand existing scholarships.

Beginning this fall, the campaign will broaden its priorities to assist with a major capital transformation of the university’s eight campuses. Kent State trustees last year approved a plan to issue more than $250 million in bonds to finance numerous construction projects, including several new buildings and renovations to academic facilities, including classrooms, laboratories and libraries. Private philanthropic gifts will allow the scope of those projects to be expanded.

“Every private dollar contributed by a supporter frees up funds that can go toward an extensive backlog of much-needed capital projects,” Finn said. “Our goal is to stretch those bonds into a much larger impact for the students of Kent State. Every one of these projects will make our young scholars’ education stronger, and each gift gets us closer to that goal.”

To learn more about the Centennial Campaign, visit www.kent.edu/advancement.

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Media Contacts:
Brian Thornton, bthornt1@kent.edu, 330-672-0419
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595