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Donor Support For University Of Virginia Sets Record

September 15, 2003 -- The University of Virginia received $261,921,891 in donor support in the fiscal year just concluded, marking the third time in four years that U.Va. has set a record in its fund raising. The total was $6.9 million or 2.7 percent higher than the record amount received in 2001-2002.

Contributions and pledge payments to U.Va. between July 1, 2002, and June 30, 2003, included some of the largest single gifts in the University’s history. Last fall, distributions from the estate of alumnus David A. Harrison III and from a trust he had created earlier provided $64 million, largely for endowed professorships in law and medicine. In addition, it was learned that the longtime U.Va. benefactor had created an irrevocable trust, of which $47.2 million will come to the University in 25 years.

More than 61,000 other donors made gifts to the University in 2002-2003. Of these, nearly 51,000 took part in U.Va.’s annual giving program, providing $34.2 million for current operations. These resources have been especially welcome to deans and department heads whose budgets have been hard hit by cuts in state funding in recent years.

University President John T. Casteen III expressed gratitude for the unprecedented level of private support and credited it with upholding the University’s national standing in a time of severe reductions in state revenues. “We are fortunate to have a community of loyal alumni, parents and other benefactors whose commitment to the University is unwavering,” he said. “They have enabled us not only to withstand the effects of the economic downturn but to move forward with new initiatives that will allow us to achieve our long-range vision.”

Of the $261.9 million raised, $183.4 million came from individuals, including alumni, parents of current and former students, and other friends of the University. Corporations provided another $18.6 million, and foundations and other organizations contributed $59.9 million.

“We owe our success to donors of gifts both large and small who recognize that philanthropic support is vital to the advancement of this institution,” said Robert D. Sweeney, the University’s senior vice president for development and public affairs.

“This past year we have benefited from extraordinary transformational gifts, commitments for capital projects, corporate and foundation gifts for research, and thousands of gifts from alumni, parents and friends who make it a personal tradition to give to the University year to year,” he continued. “By helping us to sustain our programs and to pursue even our boldest aspirations, our donors are enabling the University to establish a new model for the way we finance public higher education in America.”

He stressed that the necessity of this model has become abundantly clear in the wake of state reductions over the past three years, which have resulted in private support exceeding state support as a source of University funding. Of the $1.62 billion in revenues budgeted for the University’s current fiscal year, more funding will come from gifts and endowment income ($134 million, or 8.3 percent) than from state appropriations ($130.9 million, or 8.1 percent).

Sweeney noted that U.Va.’s efforts to attract philanthropic support continue to win national acclaim. In 2003, the University was again recognized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in its annual Circle of Excellence Awards for educational fund raising. The University has won this award six times in the last seven years, a record unmatched by any other major research university, public or private.

Contact: Lee Graves, (434) 924-6857

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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