Donor Gives UNCG Its Largest Gift Ever
An anonymous donor has given $6 million to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro the largest gift in its history -- to be used for student aid and new professorships.
"This gift holds enormous potential for UNCG to enhance student access and to recruit and retain top faculty," said UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady. "The growth of scholarship funds is vital in today's turbulent economy, and it has been the primary objective of our Students First Campaign. This gift also represents the margin of excellence in the recruitment and retention of the very best faculty. Our donor has done a huge service to UNCG, and the university is indeed grateful."
Although receipt of the mega-gift was unexpected, UNCG has been hosting events and personal visits with alumni and friends across the country during the Students First Campaign. The hard work obviously paid off with this very special gift. The gift boosts the campaign beyond $110 million from $104.4 million at the end of February.
The donor has designated $5 million to provide financial assistance to students. This gift will go a long way in the current economic climate to enhance UNCG's scholarship program, which awarded only $1.6 million in need-based scholarships in 2007-08.
More than 60 percent of UNCG's 17,000-plus student body receives financial aid -- a total of $42.7 million awarded in grants and scholarships for 2007-08 and a total of $125 million in aid from all sources -- with the bulk coming from federal and state sources. Beyond the total awarded, there was an unmet need last year of more than $30 million, which required students to take out over $75 million in loans to support their education.
UNCG administrators are designating the remaining $1 million to create two distinguished professorships. For each new professorship, the donor's contribution of $417,000 will allow UNCG to request matching funds of $250,000 from the C.D. Spangler Foundation Inc., and $333,000 from the N.C. Distinguished Professorship Endowment Trust Fund. These generous matches allow UNCG to more than double the value of the donor's $1 million donation.
"We are thrilled with this gift and deeply moved by the generosity and vision of the donor," Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Patricia W. Stewart said. "As economic forecasts are increasingly stormy, this gift for scholarships and faculty development will be an extraordinary investment in UNCG's future. It is impossible to calculate the benefits that will result."
Supporters of UNCG have created 14 new professorships and 230 scholarship funds -- two of the campaign's top initiatives during the past four years.
Brady has made access to higher education one of her top priorities since arriving at UNCG as chancellor, and she has put her energies behind raising scholarship funds. Like those of many campuses nationally, UNCG's scholarship endowments have been shrinking in the harsh economic environment, and caused a reduction in the amounts the university can award students.
Including the latest gift, the campaign has received gifts of $60.7 million toward a goal of $66.26 million for student support. The goal includes $61.31 million for undergraduate and graduate scholarships, $3.8 million for international education, and $1.15 million for the Communication Across the Curriculum program.
To attract and retain excellent faculty, UNCG has exceeded its $10.14 million goal by raising $14 million. The target includes funds for professorships, faculty development, library resources, and $1 million for guest artists and lectures.
To date, the campaign has created 14 new professorships, 189 new undergraduate scholarships, 41 new graduate scholarships and 152 program endowments and student awards programs.
The Students First Campaign's success has also been recognized with two prestigious WealthEngine Awards for Fundraising Excellence from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). In 2007, CASE recognized UNCG with the most improved fundraising program award and last year with an overall performance award that only 49 institutions nationally received. For this top honor, UNCG was ranked among only seven other public research/doctoral institutions, including Ohio State University, California-Berkeley, Purdue and the University of Virginia.
The Students First Campaign began July 1, 2004, and is continuing through June of this year. It was launched with a $78 million goal, a mark raised to $100 million in September 2006 -- which it reached in June 2008 -- a full year ahead of the scheduled completion date of the campaign.
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