Philanthropy to Penn State surpasses $165 million for 2005-06

Philadelphia, Pa. -- Penn State received $165.2 million in gifts from alumni and friends for the year ending June 30, an increase of 26 percent over the previous year, according to a report to the Board of Trustees by Arthur Nagle, chair of the National Council on Penn State Philanthropy, the University's top volunteer fundraising advisory group.

"Several unique factors may have combined to help produce the $35 million increase in receipts that we witnessed last year," he told the trustees. "World financial markets experienced robust growth for the first time in several years. In addition, the devastation from Hurricane Katrina led Congress to pass the Katrina Relief Act, which significantly increased the tax benefits from charitable giving."

Nagle also noted that donors have responded with exceptional generosity to a number of Penn State fund-raising initiatives. The College Excellence initiative, for example, already has surpassed its goal, raising $320 million over four years for such purposes as undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, and support for academic programs that have the potential for national and international recognition.

Nagle pointed out that gifts to the Trustee Matching Scholarship initiative have created 292 endowments for financially needy students over the past three years.

"Basically, donors had more incentives than ever before to make major gifts or to accelerate their outstanding pledge payments," he said. The $165.2 million includes only actual gifts received, and excludes pledges and other types of future commitments.

Nagle also reported that planning is under way for another University-wide capital campaign "that promises to have a greater long-term impact on Penn State than the Grand Destiny Campaign," a seven-year effort that ended June 30, 2003, and secured $1.37 billion for student financial aid, faculty endowments, program support, new and renovated facilities, and other purposes.

"The upward trends of this past year build momentum as we prepare for the next comprehensive campaign," he said.

Last Updated March 19, 2009