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Rutgers smashes record for donations in 2014-15

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Rutgers University concluded its
Rutgers University concluded its "Our Rutgers, Our Future" campaign in 2014-15. - ()

Rutgers University said a late surge in donations led to the most successful fundraising year in its history, breaking the record set a year ago by more than 26 percent.

The university raised $187.9 million during the 2014-15 academic year, surpassing the 2013-14 mark of $148.4 million by 26.6 percent, the Rutgers University Foundation announced Wednesday.

“Thanks to the growing generosity of our donors, Rutgers University has greater resources to support our outstanding students, groundbreaking faculty research and new classrooms, labs and other world-class facilities,” President Robert Barchi said in a prepared statement. “This record level of giving demonstrates donors’ enthusiasm for the vision outlined in the university’s comprehensive strategic plan, which will propel Rutgers to the ranks of the nation’s finest public universities.”

One of the keys to the year’s success was the completion of the “Our Rutgers, Our Future” campaign, the university said. The seven-and-a-half-year campaign, which ended Dec. 31, raised $1.037 billion, 4 percent more than its $1 billion goal.

“Over the past year, Rutgers donors have supported undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty research and other priority programs across all corners of the university,” Nevin Kessler, president of the Rutgers University Foundation, said in a statement. “As we prepare to celebrate Rutgers’ 250th anniversary, we will continue to provide opportunities for individuals, foundations and other donors to support exciting new initiatives throughout the university.”

Among other highlights of the fundraising year were:

  • The $15 million creation of five new endowed chairs in Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, two at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, two at the New Jersey Medical School and one at the Brain Health Institute.
  • Rutgers Athletics’ receipt of $14.7 million in gifts and commitments, an increase of 18.1 percent from the prior year.
  • Gifts of $10 million that led to the naming of the Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering, honoring 1950 alumnus Richard N. Weeks, chairman of Weeks Marine.
  • The Prudential Foundation’s $1.25 million in support of programming for “Express Newark: A University-Community Collaboratory,” a community revitalization effort in Newark.
  • A $1 million investment supporting Rutgers Law School’s pro bono and public interest initiatives, from 1990 Rutgers Law-Camden alumnus James R. Maida and his wife, 1997 Graduate School of Education alumna Sharon O’Mara Maida.

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