Penn State campaign passes halfway mark with strong momentum

University Park, Pa. — At the midway point of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, gifts from alumni and friends totaled almost $1.17 billion—more than half of the University-wide fundraising initiative’s $2 billion goal. The announcement came today during a report to Penn State’s Board of Trustees by Rodney P. Kirsch, senior vice president for development and alumni and relations.

“During a campaign that has coincided with some of the most challenging economic times in recent memory, the generosity of Penn Staters has not only endured, but grown,” said Kirsch. “As we celebrate the extraordinary success of For the Future, we offer our profound thanks to the more than 185,000 donors who have already made gifts in support of our campaign, our institution and our students.”

The For the Future campaign, which began on Jan. 1, 2007 and is slated to end on June 30, 2014, passed its halfway mark in September with 58 percent of the campaign’s overall goal raised. That total includes approximately $216 million in support for scholarships, the campaign’s top priority. More than 560 new endowments that provide direct aid to students have been created during the campaign.
           
“Our alumni and friends share our belief in keeping a Penn State degree within reach for students from every background,” said University President Graham Spanier. “Achieving the goals of For the Future also will increase the value of that degree by ensuring that we remain an international leader in innovative education, research and service.”
           
The campaign’s other priorities include funds to help the University recruit and retain top educators and researchers. While more than $97 million has been raised for faculty support, Penn State will be focusing increased attention on this goal and the Faculty Endowment Challenge, which offers a 1:2 match from University funds for gifts that create Early Career Professorships.
 
“Great professors shaped my own experience at Penn State, and we need to ensure that future generations of students can learn from leaders in every discipline,” said Peter G. Tombros, volunteer chair of For the Future. “In the months ahead, we will be reaching out to more donors who have the interest and ability to create endowed faculty positions.”
 
Penn State’s faculty and staff have been among the most enthusiastic supporters of the campaign, Kirsch reported. As of Sept. 30, almost 8,700 employees -- approximately 25 percent of the University’s workforce -- had already made gifts during For the Future, totaling just over $28 million toward a goal of $42 million.
Kirsch also underscored the need to maintain momentum in the second half of For the Future. “The response of our donors to the campaign’s vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America has been deeply inspiring,” said Kirsch. “As we move forward, we will be asking other Penn Staters to join us in supporting this vision and creating a better, stronger institution for the students, families and communities we serve.”

 

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Last Updated November 18, 2010