BOZEMAN – Philanthropic commitments to Montana State University hit a record high of $104.1 million during the last fiscal year, an amount that is more than double the university’s previous annual fundraising record.
The commitments in the form of outright, pledged and planned gifts were made to “What It Takes: The Campaign for Montana State University,” which is the comprehensive campaign being run by the MSU Alumni Foundation, the fundraising arm of the university.
“We are grateful to our many passionate and generous supporters,” said MSU President Waded Cruzado. “So many people care deeply about Montana’s land-grant research university and its mission of providing a world-class education to our students, sharing new ideas and knowledge and positively impacting our communities and our world. These generous contributions allow us to do just that.”
Gifts to the university are classified in a number of ways, and several areas of giving posted records, according to Chris Murray, president and CEO of the MSU Alumni Foundation.
Specifically, Murray said, the Alumni Foundation received a record number of 342 major gifts totaling $84.5 million. Gift income from the annual fund was at a record $1.5 million, with more donors contributing in the 2015-2016 fiscal year than in the previous fiscal year. In addition, special gift income totaled $3.1 million from 1,003 donors – both record highs. Philanthropic grants made to MSU were at an all-time high, as well.
“These numbers are incredible, but the real story isn’t about the numbers,” Murray said. “Rather, it’s about the very real impact Montana State University is having every day on students, citizens, communities and our world. The financial commitments reported here fuel research, buildings, scholarships, faculty and a myriad of other initiatives, programs and opportunities that change lives.”
Included in the major gift count was a $45 million pledge from Norm Asbjornson, who in 2014 committed $50 million to the university. That commitment was made in two parts, Murray noted: $5 million was a gift for planning and development of the new Norm Asbjornson Hall, an amount that was counted in 2014. The remaining $45 million was a conditional pledge to fund construction of the building. The pledge agreement required that MSU secure an additional $20 million in support of the South Campus Project by June 30, 2016. The pledge was successfully met in early June of this year, which enabled the gift to be counted in 2015-2016, Murray said.
Murray noted that the 2015-2016 fiscal year also saw a record number of 12 alumni chapters operating. In addition, a record number of 11,693 alumni and friends engaged with the Alumni Foundation, which is a 51.2 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.
“Montana State University is on a roll, and all of these numbers indicate that it’s an exciting time to be partnering with the university,” Murray said.
To learn more about “What It Takes,” visit http://www.montana.edu/whatittakes/.
Contact: Chris Murray, president and CEO, MSU Alumni Foundation, (406) 994-2513 or email@example.com