'Historic' Grand Destiny Campaign raises $1.371 billion for Penn State

Hazleton, Pa. -- Penn State received a total of $1.371 billion in gifts and pledges during its seven-year Grand Destiny capital campaign, according to a report to the University's Board of Trustees today (July 11) by Rod Kirsch, vice president for development and alumni relations. The campaign, which had a $1.3 billion goal, ended June 30.

Kirsch also noted that giving to Penn State increased during every year of the campaign, including fiscal year 2002-03.

"Gift totals, excluding pledges, have grown by 118 percent from the first year of the campaign to the last, despite the trying economic times in recent years," he said. "This is an historic accomplishment for Penn State."

The University received a total of $181.3 million in gifts in 2002-03, compared with $83.2 million in 1995-96, the year before the seven-year Grand Destiny campaign began.

Campaign donations will benefit Penn State locations statewide, according to a report from Campaign Chair and Trustee James S. Broadhurst.

"Private support enables students, faculty, and programs to reach a level of excellence and achievement unattainable through funding from public revenues and other sources, a level that distinguishes Penn State as one of the nation's finest universities," Broadhurst said.

He reported that Penn State received more private support during the seven years of the campaign than it did in the 141 years between its founding in 1855 and 1996, when a total of $923 million was received.

Broadhurst also pointed out that of the 319,664 campaign donors, 165,473 made gifts or pledges for the first time.

The Board of Trustees led the way, with $90 million in gifts. Gifts and pledges from University faculty and staff totaled $41.1 million, with 55 percent of all Penn State employees making a campaign commitment.

During every year of the campaign, Penn State led all universities nationwide in the number of alumni donors.

"The broad base of participation in the campaign illustrates the level of engagement among our alumni and friends, and shows how the goals for private support set by the University's administration resonated with our alumni and friends," Broadhurst said.

The campaign's top priority was to increase endowed support for student aid, faculty chairs and professorships, and programs. Endowed gifts totaled $524.8 million, or more than the University's total endowment ($426.6 million) when the campaign began. The University invests endowed gifts and uses part of the annual income for the purposes specified by the donor. Remaining income is returned to strengthen the principal.

The campaign total included $328 million for undergraduate support, primarily in the form of endowed scholarships and other kinds of financial assistance. Endowed scholarships and similar funds established during the campaign total 962, an 85 percent increase since the start of the campaign. More than 8,500 Penn State undergraduates now benefit from privately funded student aid.

Campaign donors also directed about $60 million for graduate student support, including the endowment of graduate fellowships and assistantships.

About $177 million was raised for endowed professorships, chairs and other kinds of faculty support. The number of professorships, chairs and other faculty endowments increased from 161 to 280 during the life of the campaign.

Support for programs totaled $236 million. Programs include the University Libraries, the World Campus and other outreach efforts, specialized research and teaching centers in the academic colleges, and a variety of fine and performing arts activities.

Go to http://www.giveto.psu.edu/AGrandDestiny/ for more detailed information about campaign achievements.

Last Updated March 20, 2009