TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Thanks to the generosity of more than 58,000 donors, The University of Alabama set a new record for gifts and pledges received during a single fiscal year, raising more than $120 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year.
“We are truly grateful for the faithful generosity of our alumni and friends, and this fundraising record is evidence of how special the Capstone family is,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “Without the loyal support of our donors, we would not be able to dream of accomplishing all that we do.”
The record, which occurred during Bell’s second full year as University president, eclipses the previous mark of $116.4 million set in 2012, as well as the University’s average of $102 million for the previous five fiscal years by 18 percent.
Bob Pierce, vice president for Advancement, attributes much of the success to the president’s leadership and vision for the Capstone.
“Dr. Bell has championed the implementation of a new strategic plan that will guide the University to increased levels of accomplishment, and I believe the growth in charitable giving is an endorsement of his leadership,” said Pierce. “He, along with other University leaders, is charting the vision, and our donors are responding.”
During the record-setting year that raised more than $120.7 million, donors provided nearly $25 million to fund endowed scholarships, $20 million in endowed gifts for programs, $18 million to aid with campus construction projects and facility maintenance, and $4 million in endowed gifts to support faculty.
Fourteen gifts exceeded $1 million, and 7,667 were from first-time donors. The total includes all new gifts and pledges to every area of the University, including Athletics, as well as planned gifts at full face value.
Highlights of the recently concluded fiscal year, which ran Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017, include significant gifts from Mike and Kathy Mouron, Eugenia Dean via her estate, the Cathy Randall family, Gaylon and Susan McCollough, Marillyn Hewson, and Hugh and Eliza Culverhouse.
These cornerstone gifts will elevate programs all across campus including Adapted Athletics, CrossingPoints, Computer-Based Honors (which is now the Randall Research Scholars program), a new institute for premedical scholars, data analytics and cybersecurity in the Culverhouse College of Commerce, and the Law School.
“If individuals—and institutions, alike—are to reach our full potential, the practice of ‘paying forward’ benefits received as the result of the efforts and sacrifices made by those who went before, must be perceived not as a matter of choice; but rather a sacrosanct obligation,” said Gaylon McCollough. “Susan and I are pleased to learn from the administration that our gift encouraged other alumni and friends of UA to invest in the future of the institution and its students.”
“The level of participation in supporting UA is truly a testament to the dedication of all our alumni and friends,” said Pierce. “With contributions ranging in size from just a few dollars to $5 million, each and every gift will make an impact on the University. We believe this will help lay a solid foundation for a new era of fundraising success at The University of Alabama.”
As state funding for higher education decreases, UA relies more than ever on donors to provide private support for the future of the University by investing in its students, faculty and facilities.
“As we continue to grow, we remain committed to providing a premier education to our students, and our supporters are critical to our success,” said Bell. “I’m proud of our Advancement team for communicating the University’s goals and needs to our friends, and I’m incredibly proud to work with faculty and staff who generate such a high level of esteem from our alumni family.”
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.