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UConn 2000 helps increase fund-raising by 82%
by Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu (February 14, 1997)
After dramatic increases last year, fund-raising at the University is up again -- by 82 percent -- in just the first six months of fiscal year 1997.
From July 1 through December 31, 1996, the UConn Foundation, on behalf of the University, received $11.1 million in gifts from private sources, compared with $6.1 million during the same period a year earlier.
"The (UConn) Foundations outstanding success in raising funds for the University demonstrates our increased focus on private giving," said President Philip E. Austin. "To pursue excellence, public universities these days are starting to act as private universities have for decades -- and that is to rely on people of means to build the spires of excellence within an otherwise very good university."
Giving was up in all major categories in the first half of the current fiscal year. Academic programs at Storrs and the regional campuses posted
Overall fund-raising results have risen steadily during the past two years. From July 1, 1995, through June 30, 1996, the foundation received $13.3 million from private sources, up 62 percent compared to the $8.2 million raised in the previous fiscal year.
"When the state rallied to the support of the University with the UConn 2000 legislation, we vowed to do our part to raise money from private sources and to build our endowment resources to a competitive level," said Ed Allenby, vice president for institutional advancement and president of the UConn Foundation, the private, non-profit corporation that raises and manages private funds for the benefit of the University.
"Individual and corporate donors have responded overwhelmingly to the states very visible endorsement of the University and its programs," he said. "This critical legislation allows us to better leverage private gifts for the University so that we may provide the value-added programs so essential to public research institutions today."
UConn 2000 the key
UConn 2000 -- the 10-year, $1 billion state program to rebuild the Universitys campuses -- encourages strengthening the endowment by matching endowment gifts up to a total of $20 million over a three-year period. Endowment gifts permanently support the University. They are invested in perpetuity and only the income is used for the specified purpose. Gifts of $25,000 and more are eligible for the state match.
The first half of fiscal year 1997 saw the two largest-ever single, non-corporate gifts to the Storrs campus. Both are gifts to the University's endowment and will be matched by the state. The first, $1.5 million from Ray Neag, '57, and his late wife, Lynn Neag, will benefit the University's nationally recognized program in gifted and talented education. The second, a gift of $1.75 million from Harold Schwenk Jr., and Paula Schwenk, '79 MA, will endow a distinguished chair in chemistry and establish a program to encourage undergraduates to pursue the sciences.
"While state funding and student tuition will remain the primary sources of funding for the University for the foreseeable future, private donations enable us to pursue initiatives that we could not ordinarily undertake and to add the margin of excellence to make good programs outstanding," Allenby said.
Funds raised last fiscal year supported a number of new initiatives at the University, including the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, the Stamford campus and a new summer program for gifted high school students to work with faculty as mentors. Donations also support student scholarships, faculty positions and other academic programs.
University officials plan to seek legislation during the current legislative session that would continue a matching gifts program.