Penn State supporters push campaign past historic milestones

Center Valley, Pa. -- During a single landmark year, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students has raised $353 million in new commitments, a record-breaking annual figure that tops the amount secured during the entirety of the University’s first fundraising initiative, The Campaign for Penn State. The past fiscal year also has brought the campaign’s overall commitments past the final results of the Grand Destiny campaign that concluded in 2003. The news came today (July 15) in a presentation by the For the Future chair, Peter G. Tombros, to the Penn State Board of Trustees.

“We were able to enter the For the Future campaign in 2007 with extraordinary ambition and confidence thanks to the success of the University’s first two campaigns,” said Tombros. “We are now beginning a new era in Penn State fundraising and in the history of the University. More than ever before, our alumni and friends understand that with their support, there is no limit to what this institution can achieve.”

The For the Future campaign, which is slated to continue until June 30, 2014, has now secured $1.38 billion in total commitments, surpassing the $1.37 billion total that was raised during the Grand Destiny effort. This year’s numbers include the largest single gift in Penn State’s history, an $88 million commitment from Terry and Kim Pegula to build a state-of-the-art ice arena and launch Division I hockey at Penn State. The University also received more than 308,000 other gifts in 2010-2011, breaking Penn State’s past annual record.

“At every level, donors are making gifts that express their vision for the University,” said Tombros. “Our supporters include almost 11,000 Penn State faculty and staff members, who have already contributed $34.4 million to the campaign. Their inspiring example, as well as the leadership of our volunteers and donors, is helping to communicate the campaign’s importance to a wider audience, and we will continue this effort over the months and years ahead.”

As the campaign enters its final three years, it will remain focused on keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families from every economic background. Penn State President Graham Spanier said, “Scholarships are the top priority of For the Future, and our alumni and friends have already committed almost $275 million toward our goal of $435 million in new support for students. Our donors also are responding to the campaign’s other objectives, from building faculty strength and capacity to enriching the student experience, and their generosity is helping us to become the most comprehensive, student-centered public university in America.”

Tombros said, “As we have seen over the last few years, philanthropy can be critical in maintaining our programs and our educational quality despite downturns in the economy and declines in state support. A year like this one can be a tough act to follow, but we will be working hard to maintain our momentum and reach the goals of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.”

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Last Updated July 21, 2011