UMass Amherst Raises $30.2 Million in Private Donations for Fiscal Year Ending June 30

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts raised $30.2 million in private donations for the fiscal year ending June 30, far surpassing last year''s total of $19.8 million. It was announced by Chancellor Marcellette G. Williams.

Williams said: "This achievement is a milestone for the University. It is a tribute to the spirit of philanthropy that is growing among our supporters." She added: "We are grateful specially to our alumni for their increasing support, and also to the state Legislature for helping us to help ourselves."

Williams pointed out that in addition to the $30.2 million, UMass received $1.6 million in state matching funds from the Public Higher Education Endowment Incentive Program, which matched gifts to endowments across the campus. An additional $3.9 million was received as part of the President''s Distinguished Professorship Initiative that allowed the campus to create six new endowed professorships.

Williams said: "A key theme on campus this year is enablement. Self enablement. Enablement of others. Private donations and state matching funds enable the University to take an important step forward as we continue to provide the highest quality education for our students."

Diane Dukette, executive director of development, attributed the increase in the fiscal-year total to a combination of factors, primarily the "final push" for Campaign UMass, the campus''s first-ever comprehensive campaign to raise $125 million, enlist advocates, and enhance the image of the University. The campaign ended in December 2000, one year ahead of schedule, and raised $130.7 million in five years.

Dukette said that increased support from alumni was a significant factor in raising $30.2 million in the past fiscal year, and that raising donations from alumni is a major part of ongoing fundraising efforts. Dukette pointed out that giving from alumni who received their undergraduate degrees at UMass increased from 15 percent in FY1999 to 17 percent in FY2001, and during the last year alone, approximately 2,100 undergraduate alumni donated to the campus for the first time. "One of the major successes of Campaign UMass is that we have engaged more alumni to support the University in ways they have never considered before," she says. "I look forward to continuing to nurture our relationships with alumni."

Dukette also noted the Isenberg School of Management exceeded its challenge from The Kresge Foundation by raising $5.8 million. The foundation awarded the school a prestigious $850,000 challenge grant early last year.

The terms of the grant mandated that the Isenberg School raise $5 million by July 1, 2001, toward a $26-million Campaign for the School of Management to raise funds for a new $12 million high-technology building addition, among other initiatives.

Tom O''Brien, dean of the Isenberg School, said: "Alumni have responded magnificently to the Kresge challenge. The new construction is a symbol of what we are working for together -- a great education at an affordable price."

Dukette said the number of large gifts to the University, those in the six and seven-figure range, has increased, enabling the establishment of more chairs and endowed professorships. She said the six new professorships created under the President''s Distinguished Professorship Initiative are especially important. The number brings the total to 17 new professorships created during Campaign UMass.

"Endowed professorships are among academe''s highest honors," she said. "The six new professorships created this past year under this program allow the University to recruit and retain faculty of the highest caliber."