Somewhere, Colgate’s 13 founders are smiling.
Those forward-looking benefactors, who launched a university with $13 and 13 prayers, would be proud to know that Colgate received $45.8 million for financial aid, academic programs, the arts, athletics, facilities, and more during Fiscal Year 2015. That is a lucky 13 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2014. Another $22.2 million came in the form of pledges, bequest intentions, and other commitments.
“I want to thank the entire Colgate community for their commitment,” said Interim President Jill Harsin. “Working together, we continue to expand access for bright, ambitious students. We ensure that the opportunities they encounter here will shape their success long after graduation.”
It was a year of growth for many aspects of the university’s fundraising efforts. Giving to the annual fund increased by five percent over last fiscal year to $10.88 million, with a 20 percent increase in support for specific campus programs and initiatives. June was a particularly busy month as more than 1,700 alumni stepped forward to support Colgate undergraduates — a 27 percent increase over the same month in 2014.
“In my decades on campus, I have rarely seen the level of engagement and support that we enjoy today,” said Murray Decock ’80, senior vice president for external relations, advancement and initiatives. “There is an optimism about Colgate’s future that is driven by — and reflected in — the generosity and involvement of our alumni and parent community.”
Colgate’s leadership giving society, the Presidents’ Club, celebrated its 50th anniversary by setting a new record for membership: 3,747 alumni, parents, students, and friends. Alumni membership increased by five percent over Fiscal Year 2014 and recent grads (2005–2014) increased their participation by a remarkable 28 percent.
Parents gave to the tune of $5.2 million, rallying around internships and the Global Leaders Lecture Series. More than 460 parents became Presidents’ Club members, coming close to setting a new record for dollars raised through the Parents’ and Grandparents’ Fund.
A total of $2.9 million came from the estates of 16 individuals who made the university a priority when planning their wills many years ago.
The university community was generous not only with its financial resources but also with its time and encouragement.
Last spring, more than 1,700 individuals logged acts of volunteerism during Colgate’s Day of Impact, sponsored by the Presidents’ Club. Throughout the year, alumni and parents worked through the Center for Career Services to offer internships, job shadowing opportunities, mentoring, and mock interviews for students. More than 60 percent of all alumni engaged with the university in some way — online or in person — during Fiscal Year 2015.
This year also brought praise from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The organization named Colgate a Platinum Winner of its Best Practices in Fundraising Campaigns for the Year of ’13 Challenge, which took place in Fiscal Year 2014.