Kent State Introduces Commencement Improvements
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Kent State Breaks Fundraising Record for Third Straight YearPosted July 18, 2011
Gene Finn, vice president for institutional advancement at Kent State.
For the first time in its history, supporters to Kent State University have contributed more than $40 million in one year, breaking the institution’s fundraising record for the third year in a row. During the fiscal year ending June 30, private contributions to the public research university reached $42.1 million, beating last year’s total by more than $2 million.
“With our guiding Excellence Agenda, Kent State has risen to become the premier public university in Northeast Ohio, and our supporters have enthusiastically responded,” Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton says. “In the past year, we’ve been proud to report on a daily basis the stunning achievements of our students, faculty and staff, all of which are possible in part because of the strong growth of private contributions.”
Kent State’s previous fundraising record was $39.9 million, set in fiscal year 2010.
The university’s Centennial Campaign total now stands at $239.4 million, just more than $10 million away from its $250 million goal. The campaign is raising funds in support of the university’s endowment, capital projects and current operations, with particular emphasis on student scholarships.
For the fiscal year, donors pledged $6.4 million to support student scholarships, including 19 commitments of at least $100,000. Since the start of the campaign, $36.8 million has been raised to fund new and to expand existing scholarships.
Beginning in 2009, Kent State has experienced three successive years of record-breaking fundraising. Because of this remarkable growth, the university recently received a 2011 Educational Fundraising Award for Overall Improvement in the Public Research/Doctorial Institution category from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The awards, given since 1959, honor organizations with exceptional advancement programs; judges select winners based on significant program growth as shown in three years of data.
“This award is particularly significant because it is not selected by the arbitrary criteria of a panel of judges, but rather by the concrete statistics of our success,” says Gene Finn, vice president for institutional advancement at Kent State. “The incredible growth of private support to Kent State is a testament to the loyalty of our alumni and friends, as well as the tremendous work of our staff.”
During the past two years, the university’s fundraising arm also won Grand Gold and two Silver Awards as part of CASE’s Circle of Excellence program. In addition, the organization has captured two Gold, one Silver and one Bronze award at the CASE Pride of District V Awards since 2009. The awards were given for the university’s Centennial Campaign publications, as well as its innovative Campaign for Change program, which empowers students to contribute to scholarship support for their peers. The Campaign for Change awarded the first scholarship from its endowed fund during the past year.