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  September 4, 2001

Year's Gifts Top $50 Million

Private fund-raising results at UConn have never been better.

Seven years ago, total gifts to the University amounted to $8.2 million. Now, the University of Connecticut Foundation Inc. reports that it has surpassed two significant milestones in the life of any fund-raising organization: raising more than $50 million in a single year, and launching a comprehensive campaign. It's a remarkable achievement, especially in light of the downturn in the stock market.

For the seventh consecutive year, UConn set new records in its fund-raising program, recording $50.6 million in private support for the fiscal year ending June 30, a 37 percent increase over last fiscal year. Of that total, $28.3 million was designated for current operating needs and $22.3 million for endowment funds. All campuses, schools, and colleges of the University are benefiting from the generosity of the 33,545 donors who gave to UConn this fiscal year. Of the donors, 17,138 were alumni, a 20 percent participation rate.

"Philanthropy plays a vital role in support of our research, teaching, and public service mission, says

President Philip E. Austin. "The generosity of our donors demonstrates their confidence in the University's commitment to excellence, diversity, and access."

Comparing this fiscal year's data with last year's, private giving to the Storrs and regional campuses including the Law School was $30.7 million, up 38 percent. Giving to the Health Center (including private philanthropic grants) was $9.96 million, up 100 percent. Support for the Division of Athletics was $9.95 million, up two percent. Donors to the annual fund gave a total of $2.24 million, up 12 percent.

On May 3, the University began a new chapter in its fund-raising history, with the public announcement of the $300 million Campaign UConn, Countless Reasons-Endless Possibilities. It is the most ambitious fund-raising effort ever undertaken by a public university in New England. At the close of this fiscal year, a total of more than $156 million (52 percent of the goal) had been raised in gifts and commitments. The Campaign will provide $75 million each for scholarships and faculty support, and $150 million for program support and facility enhancements not covered under UConn 2000. The decision to launch a campaign of this magnitude was a natural next step in UConn's transformation.

The state's matching endowment gift program has been a catalyst to the Campaign, fostering a rapid growth in the number of endowments in support of the University's people and programs. A total of 230 endowments were established during the Campaign's "silent" phase, which began on July 1, 1998 and ended May 3.

Private support cannot and should not replace public funding, but it will make a crucial difference in developing the "margin of excellence" that will enable UConn to enter the top ranks of American higher education, says Edward T. Allenby, vice president for institutional advancement and president of the UConn Foundation.

Combined support to the University from direct contributions and endowment investment income totaled $18.9 million, compared with $5.1 million seven years ago. The ability to provide this level of funding, says Allenby, even in a difficult investment environment, reflects the wisdom of the asset management policies established by the Foundation's Board of Directors.

Arthur Sorrentino

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