In challenging economic times, public universities need the help of alumni and friends more than ever. NC State’s supporters are meeting this challenge with an awe-inspiring level of enthusiasm. In fact, they’re downright bullish on the university, boosting charitable giving for scholarships, research, academic programs and faculty support to an all-time high.
In the 2014-15 fiscal year that ended June 30, NC State received gifts and pledges totaling a record $208.5 million, an 11 percent increase over the previous year, and a remarkable 133-percent increase since Chancellor Randy Woodson took the helm in 2010.
Of this, more than half — $106 million — was earmarked for the university’s endowment, an investment that supports NC State’s long-term growth and success. That helped the endowment grow to a record $984 million by the end of the fiscal year, an increase of 96 percent since 2010.
Gift receipts, an important measure of “cash in the door,” totaled $119 million, marking the fourth consecutive year receipts have exceeded $100 million. Donations made through the university’s annual giving program increased by more than 10 percent to a record $2.7 million.
The number of donors to NC State continues to climb, growing by 15 percent in the past five years. Membership in the Alumni Association is up 25 percent since 2010, helping to fund $750,000 in financial aid for 150 students. Membership in the Student Alumni Association has skyrocketed 300 percent since 2010.
Brian Sischo, vice chancellor for university advancement, credits Woodson for driving the momentum in donor engagement.
“Under the chancellor’s leadership, NC State is building a reputation as an innovation powerhouse,” Sischo says. “It’s exciting and gratifying to see our alumni and supporters, including faculty, staff and students, working so hard to support the university’s upward trajectory.”
Donors increased their support of nearly every college and division at the university, with some units recording triple-digit percentage increases over the previous year.
Recent notable gifts include $16 million from the Randall B. Terry Charitable Foundation to fund research, scholarships and endowed professorships in the College of Veterinary Medicine; $8.1 million from Moise and Vera Khayrallah to create the Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; and $2.5 million from Duke Energy for research in renewable energy and to attract and retain underrepresented groups in the College of Engineering.
The Goodnight Scholars Program, established in 2008 to support students from middle-income families, became NC State’s first endowment fund to reach $100 million. Sixteen new commitments to establish distinguished professorships were made in the 2014-15 fiscal year, double the previous year.
“Philanthropy is what takes NC State from good to great, allowing us to provide the scholarships, programs and facilities that attract top-performing students and world-leading faculty,” Sischo says. “That, in turn, drives the cutting-edge research and innovation that creates economic, societal and intellectual prosperity.”
The sustained level of donor enthusiasm is good news for the university as it prepares to launch the most ambitious fundraising campaign in NC State history.
Big Gains Across the Board
Following are highlights of the gifts and new commitments received by select colleges and divisions, as well as the percentage increases over last year:
- Academic and Student Affairs: $3.3 million (+100%)
- Agriculture and Life Sciences: $57.3 million (+66%)
- Design: $2.1 million (+71%)
- Education: $1.8 million (+81%)
- Engineering: $21.7 million (+7%)
- Humanities and Social Sciences: $9.4 million (+287%)
- NCSU Libraries: $2.5 million (+6%)
- Poole College of Management: $5.7 million (+12%)
- Sciences: $7 million (+24%)
- Textiles: $3.8 million (+117%)
- Veterinary Medicine: $33 million (+64%)
- Wolfpack Club/Athletics: $32.2 million (+38%)
These fundraising milestones aren’t the only signs of momentum at NC State. This fall, NC State welcomed its highest-achieving freshman class ever. The university recently received several highly competitive multimillion-dollar grants to lead national research efforts addressing some of the nation’s most significant challenges. And industry and government partnerships are on the upswing, with NC State attracting $308 million in sponsored research funding last year, another all-time high.
NC State was recently lauded by PayScale.com for having the top early-career salaries and delivering the best return on investment for its graduates of all North Carolina public universities. The university also advanced in the Princeton Review’s annual guide to the nation’s top colleges and universities. And it consistently ranks among the top 5 best values in the nation as measured by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review.
Athletics had its highest-ever finish in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup, rising to 27th place, an improvement of 62 spots over just five years ago. Five varsity teams also received recognition for being in the top 10 percent of their sports academically.