As reported in The Athens Banner-Herald, fundraisers for the University of Georgia recorded almost $228 million in gifts and pledges to the university for the 2017 fiscal year, up nearly 24 percent from what UGA retained the year before.
The multimillion dollar total makes this another record for UGA President Jere Morehead, who when he became UGA’s top administrator four years ago said that his success would be judged by how much money he raised.
According to records released by UGA, gifts and pledges to the university were $129.2 million in the 2014 fiscal year, $144.2 million in 2015 and $183.8 million in 2016.
These totals include funds donated to the UGA Athletic Association to support football and other NCAA sports teams. The “Commit to Georgia” campaign includes $30 million for an indoor football practice facility and $70 million for UGA’s new business school complex, which is currently under construction at the intersection of Baxter and Lumpkin streets.
Of this year’s $227.8 million total, $98 million came from corporations and foundations, according to a UGA press release.
Over 68,000 donors contributed, the university also stated. The new funds have created more than 100 new academic scholarships, according to UGA.
The president said at the beginning of the year he hoped to raise money for 400 to 600 needs-based scholarships for undergraduates during the capital campaign. Under the “Georgia Commitment” program, The UGA Foundation, which manages UGA’s endowment of about $1 billion, would match donations of $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000 to create needs-based scholarships.
Until the end of 2017, donors had helped with donations to launch 115 of those scholarships, most of which will begin paying out this fall.
The steady increase “is a clear sign of the culture change we’re seeing around private giving at UGA,” according to Kelly Kerner, UGA’s vice president for development and alumni relations. Kerner is also designated as the executive director of the UGA Foundation.
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