For the Future exceeds goal, raises $2.158 billion in private support

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The most significant fundraising effort in Penn State’s history, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students has surpassed its goal, raising $2.158 billion in private support. Penn State is one of only 12 public universities in the nation to have exceeded a $2 billion campaign goal, receiving support from 167,500 alumni, believed to be the most alumni donors to any campaign in the country.

“From creating new scholarships to funding groundbreaking research to allowing our faculty to innovate in the classroom, For the Future has enhanced every aspect of a Penn State education, and we have our donors’ visionary support to thank for this dramatic and widespread impact."
                             -- Penn State President Rodney Erickson 

Overall, more than 603,000 donors made more than 2.1 million gifts to the historic University-wide effort, including approximately $519 million pledged for undergraduate student scholarships, the top priority of the campaign. While the campaign will continue until June 30, Penn State celebrated its success today (April 12) with activities at the University Park campus.

The Lion dancing in front a DeLorean

The Nittany Lion and a DeLorean DMC-12, like the one featured in the "Back to the Future" movies, were part of the For the Future celebration April 12 at Eisenhower Auditorium.  

Image: Leah Eder

“Our donors’ tremendous support of For the Future has already helped transform Penn State and placed it in the top echelon of global universities,” said Penn State President Rodney A. Erickson. “From creating new scholarships to funding groundbreaking research to allowing our faculty to innovate in the classroom, For the Future has enhanced every aspect of a Penn State education, and we have our donors’ visionary support to thank for this dramatic and widespread impact. Penn State will thrive for generations to come because of the generosity of our supporters and the ongoing dedication of our alumni and friends. On behalf of the entire University, I would like to thank the supporters of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students for their overwhelming generosity.”

The campaign’s total donor figure is almost double the number who contributed to Penn State’s previous fundraising effort, A Grand Destiny, which lasted from 1996 to 2003 and raised nearly $1.4 billion. Penn State alumni have committed more than $879 million to For the Future. Penn State faculty and staff have also been important contributors to For the Future, surpassing their campaign goal and providing $61 million in support.

“The success of For the Future clearly demonstrates that Penn State is stronger than ever and that Penn State values endure,” said Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Rodney P. Kirsch. “Giving back is a fundamental part of who Penn Staters are as a community. In fact, this spirit of caring, generosity and volunteerism defines the Penn State family. The campaign’s focus on how philanthropic support enhances every aspect of the student experience resonated deeply with our donors as they firmly stood by our students during an extraordinarily challenging time in our history. An institution that receives support from so many alumni, friends, organizations, faculty and staff is a very special place, indeed.”

More than 91,000 new individual scholarships and awards were distributed to students across Penn State during the course of the campaign. Among the recipients of these scholarships are more than 16,000 individuals who are the first generation in their families to attend college.

“As a first-generation college student, I understand the exceptional opportunity a Penn State education provides,” said Penn State alumnus and For the Future Campaign Chair Peter G. Tombros. “Helping students to earn their degrees is not only an investment in their futures but also in the future of our society. On behalf of every student and family whose lives will be changed because of scholarship support, I want to thank our donors for rallying behind this crucial priority and carrying on the Penn State tradition of giving back. The success of For the Future deepens the culture of philanthropy at Penn State and leaves me optimistic for the future of our institution. Today, I am prouder than ever to be a Penn Stater.”

Tombros said that the campaign total of $2.158 billion includes a number of philanthropic milestones:

-- Donors to the campaign have pledged more than $783 million to the University’s endowment.
-- Corporate philanthropy has totaled more than $400 million during For the Future.
-- Past and present members of Penn State’s Board of Trustees have given more than $110 million to the campaign.
-- For the Future has raised more than $175 million for Penn State campuses across the Commonwealth.
-- THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, has raised more than $73 million for the Four Diamonds Fund at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center during For the Future.
-- Donors gave more than $65 million to build the new Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
-- For the Future has raised more than $175 million to endow faculty positions and programs.
-- The largest individual gift in University history — $102 million — was received from Terry and Kim Pegula to build the Pegula Ice Arena.
-- Donors have given more than $75 million to support honors education University-wide.
-- Nearly 13,000 faculty and staff from across Penn State have given more than $61 million to the campaign.

Since its launch January 1, 2007, the For the Future campaign has been directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The University has engaged Penn State’s alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring access and opportunity for students from every economic background, enhancing honors education and encouraging innovation across the curriculum, enriching the experiences of students beyond the classroom and preparing them for global leadership, building faculty strength and capacity through support for dedicated teachers and scholars, fostering discovery and creativity through interdisciplinary research initiatives, and sustaining the tradition of excellence for which the University has become recognized around the world. The campaign will officially close June 30, 2014.

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Last Updated May 09, 2014