Thursday July 16, 2009

Advancing the University

Despite the volatile economic environment, alumni and friends continue to show their commitment to the University of Dayton; to date, the campaign has raised more than $90 million.

Despite the economic volatility, the University of Dayton raised approximately $35.6 million in gifts and commitments in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

"The loyalty and commitment of our alumni remain strong," Deborah A.W. Read, vice president for advancement, told the President's Council July 14. "Some donors are rethinking the timing of major gifts and postponing commitments as they wait for the economy to recover, but they remain very committed to the University of Dayton."

The University topped the $90 million mark in its fund-raising campaign and recruited approximately 50 alumni volunteers in cities across the nation, Read said.

Trustees Dick Davis, Rick Pfleger and Dave Yeager are chairing the campaign, and ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and former Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Coach Jon Gruden '86 has stepped up to serve as an honorary co-chair.

The campaign, currently in the leadership phase, is not expected to be announced publicly until 2011, depending on the pace of giving. The board of trustees in January approved a $360 million goal.

During the past year, an alumnus who requested anonymity stepped forward with a $10 million gift for need-based scholarships — the largest gift for scholarships in school history. In one of the most unusual gifts the University of Dayton has ever received, NCR relinquished $5 million of participation rights in the development of the largely unused 50-acre parcel the University purchased from the global technology company in 2005. The gift allows the University the flexibility to develop the land for academic and mixed use without sharing a portion of future revenues.

In 2008-09, the University nearly tripled annual philanthropic support to approximately $40 million in gifts and commitments. The University of Dayton is not lowering its sights for the upcoming year as the economy begins to recover.

Next year's goal of $50 million is "ambitious but reachable," Read said.