Fifty percent of Colgate alumni gave to the university in Fiscal Year 2014, even as many colleges and universities around the country see giving rates in stasis or decline.

More than 13,000 graduates were joined by more than 4,500 parents, friends, and current students. Together they provided $66.7 million in total commitments for financial aid, academic programs, and other important initiatives between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014.

“It was a tremendously exciting year thanks to the support and engagement of alumni, parents, and friends,” said Murray Decock ’80, vice president of institutional advancement. “Their responsiveness and involvement make a vibrant Colgate experience possible. On behalf of every student on campus, I want to extend my personal thanks.”

The first half of Fiscal Year 2014 took place in the Year of ’13. The university’s December 13 Colgate Day celebration — the culmination of a yearlong tribute to Colgate spirit — set new records when community members gave $5.1 million in gifts and challenge funds during a single 24-hour period. WRCU-FM provided the soundtrack with a special day of programming, while a selfie showdown raged at events from coast to coast.

With the approach of June 30 and the end of the fiscal year, Colgate rolled out Photo Finish, a digital campaign of stories and photos that illustrated the impact of support on individual students and campus programs. In the final days of June, university staff members and volunteers made hundreds of phone calls and sent thousands of personal messages, encouraging every member of the Colgate community to step forward.

Two more alumni challenges increased the urgency of giving this year. By achieving a 50 percent giving rate among former Raider student-athletes, the athletics department earned an extra $50,000. At the wire, a trustee emeritus offered a 2-to-1 match on all new Photo Finish gifts, generating $839,526 in additional income for the university.

When the books closed at midnight on June 30, the tally showed that 13,723 alumni responded to their alma mater’s request along with 2,657 parents and 596 students. In all, the university received 24,814 individual gifts — a new record. Membership in the Presidents’ Club, the university’s leadership giving society, increased by 6 percent to 3,645 alumni, parents, students, and friends.

Of the total amount given, nearly $10.5 million arrived via the annual fund, and a record $5.4 million came from parents. The Colgate Athletics Council and other athletics groups raised $1.7 million — a 7 percent increase over 2013.

Colgate’s endowment received $20.1 million in gifts, while community members gave $1.2 million in life income arrangements such as annuities and life insurance bequests. Financial aid received more than $9 million in support, while $7.4 million was directed to capital projects.

“Colgate spirit is a remarkable phenomenon,” said President Jeffrey Herbst. “It builds on itself. Our alumni, parents, and friends know how special this university is — how the Colgate experience changes lives. They receive that benefit, and they give back to future generations. We cannot thank them enough.”

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