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Largest Fundraising Year in UD's History
President Patrick Harker has opened the academic year with an exciting announcement - the University of Delaware has reached a fundraising milestone with a record $51,353,282 in gifts. With an increase of more than $10 million from last year's total, this is the largest single-year fundraising total in the history of the University.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment, but it isn't just about the money," said Harker. "It is about what has been put in motion. It is about the relationships that tie people to UD and keep them connected."
A hallmark of the Path to Prominence™ strategic plan is the dedication to renewing relationships with alumni and encouraging Blue Hens to remain committed to UD long after graduation. New traditions such as the annual Alumni Weekend, as well as many other events and opportunities both on and off campus throughout the year, help keep alumni informed, engaged and supportive.
The number of volunteers who are involved with the University is growing exponentially, from reunion volunteers who help solicit their classmates to those who share their time and expertise by serving on advisory councils. The University's base of support extends to non-alumni throughout campus, the community and around the world, including partners in industry, the military, government and research.
"It's an approach that’s working. We are changing attitudes about UD and what it can accomplish," said Harker. "People are starting to notice."
Two significant areas impacted by private support during the past year have been undergraduate scholarships and the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (ISE Lab), slated for completion in 2013.
Bob Deutsch, a 1980 graduate, supported one of these major areas by making a gift to establish the Robert and Kathy Deutsch Scholarship, which funds out-of-state students with demonstrated financial need who are studying in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. "I received scholarship support as a student at UD and it made a big difference to me," said Deutsch. "I wanted to be able to offer other students the opportunities I had, to help open doors through education."
Another donor, Rob Tullman, a 1985 graduate, made a gift to support the ISE Lab. "UD is building a state-of-the-art facility, a place for students and faculty to explore cutting edge problems in an academic setting,” Tullman said. “As a business leader in the energy industry, I can’t think of a more critical area to focus research, and I am committed to what UD can accomplish.”
Such generosity makes Harker optimistic for the future, but he also acknowledges that in order to meet the University’s long-term goals, this fundraising success must continue and grow.
“We have ambitious plans for the University,” Harker said. “We want to be at the forefront of knowledge creation and lead the way in applying our knowledge to address society’s most pressing problems. We can achieve that, but in order to do so, we will need ongoing support.”
John R. Cochran III, chair of the Board of Trustees’ Public Affairs and Advancement Committee, agreed. “This is about our future,” he said. “It speaks volumes that we reached this fundraising threshold. It is significant because of the impact the dollars raised will have on our institution, of course, but even more significant is the vote of confidence that we have received.”
He continued, “Our alumni, faculty and staff, parents, friends, corporate and foundation partners -- even our students -- have sent us a message of endorsement. They are saying ‘We believe in where UD is going as an institution, and we are working with you to make sure we get there.’"