Eastern Kentucky University recently concluded its best year for fundraising since 2001.
Private giving for Fiscal Year 2015 totaled $4,144,457, according to Nick Perlick, vice president for development and alumni relations.
The total, he added, reflects donations to all areas of the University: academic colleges and departments, facilities, athletics, the Center for the Arts, WEKU, The Eastern Fund, endowed scholarship funds and more.
“We are pleased with this year’s fundraising efforts, but also know we can do even better,” said EKU President Michael Benson. “We thank our donors and friends who voluntarily support EKU. All of us charged with helping lead EKU forward promise our donors that their investment will continue to positively impact countless lives.”
More than 9,200 donors contributed to the total, approximately half of which were EKU alumni.
Two of the larger gifts this past year were designated in support of ongoing campus revitalization efforts. Donald and Irene Dizney contributed the lead cash gift, the largest ever to EKU Athletics, in support of a multi-purpose facility to replace the east-side grandstands at Roy Kidd Stadium. Ron and Sherrie Lou Noel, whose 2008 gift made possible the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity in John Grant Crabbe Main Library, directed their philanthropy this past year to a project on the opposite side of the Library – an outdoor reading porch that will overlook a newly fashioned pedestrian mall. Several facility projects within the EKU revitalization initiative are anticipated to remain fundraising priorities in coming years, including a proposed alumni and welcome center.
Additional significant gifts came in FY 2015 in support of scholarships, which Perlick said “will continue to be a top fundraising priority. Scholarships help meet the financial needs of deserving students,” and are critical pieces to the University’s recruitment and retention strategies.
The 2015 total was also augmented by several significant bequest gifts. Planned giving, as it is also known, has gained interest recently among EKU supporters as a means to make commitments in support of the University’s future, Perlick said.
Perlick gave much of the credit for the strong fundraising year to President Michael Benson’s ambitious vision for EKU. “It’s starting to gain traction, and we’re seeing people respond to that in tangible ways.”
Donors can choose from among a variety of ways to support Eastern, including on-line giving, planned giving, securities, real estate, tangible personal property or, of course, cash, check or credit card. For more information, visit development.eku.edu.