Penn State

Penn State sets fundraising record. How much did the university raise?

Old Main on the Penn State campus on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
Old Main on the Penn State campus on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Centre Daily Times, file

In fiscal year 2017-18, supporters committed $362.9 million to Penn State’s five-year fundraising campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.” The university says it’s the strongest fundraising result in its history.

Since the fundraising effort began in June 2016, Penn State has raised more than $713 million — more than 44 percent of its $1.6 billion goal, according to a university press release.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to those who have contributed to our campaign and are helping to create a better future for our students, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the world,” Eric Barron, Penn State president, said in the release. “The campaign is tied to key priorities of the university’s strategic plan, which envisions Penn State as a global leader in areas ranging from energy, food and water security, to human health.

“With the partnership of our alumni and friends, we are committed to fulfilling our mission as a land-grant University and affirming our role as a truly outstanding public institution.”

Penn State reports a strong showing for one of Barron’s top priorities — the Open Doors Initiative, with 317 newly created scholarships. Those scholarships will be directed toward students participating in programs offering financial aid, mentoring and counseling and other support to help them graduate on time and reduce their debt. A 2:1 match from university funds tripled the effect of the gifts, according to the university, which resulted in $50.9 million in endowed support.

A $46.8 million gift of software from Schlumberger, Penn State’s 2017 Corporate Partner of the Year, will benefit the colleges of Engineering and Earth and Mineral Sciences. A $25 million grant from Highmark will advance efforts to secure National Cancer Institute designation for Penn State’s Cancer Institute. A $5.5 million commitment from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will support global health research initiatives, according to the press release.

“By investing in the campaign’s priorities, from making higher education more affordable to creating economic prosperity to building global connections, Penn State’s donors are having an impact that will go far beyond our campuses,” O. Richard Bundy III, vice president for development and alumni relations, said in the release.