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Private giving to the University of Kansas sets new records

September 8, 2009

Donors to KU Endowment set a new record in contributions — $106.4 million — in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2009. This represents a 13 percent increase over the previous record of $94 million, set in the 2008 fiscal year. The number of donors — 45,186 — also was an all-time high.

The $106.4 million came in the form of outright gifts and pledges. Donors documented an additional $9.6 million in deferred gifts, which will benefit the university in the future. The level of giving was the highest in KU Endowment’s 118-year history.

“The generosity of alumni and friends of the University of Kansas is truly remarkable, particularly during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,” said Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment. “I’m convinced that KU will play a major role in the economic recovery of our state, and private giving is making this possible.”

The increase in fundraising was attributable primarily to support for life sciences research, as well as cancer treatment and prevention. The university has identified achieving designation as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute as one of its most important strategic goals.

“In a year of economic uncertainty, donors sent a message that their belief in KU is unshakable,” said Kurt Watson, chairman of the KU Endowment Board of Trustees. “Private giving opens doors for deserving students to afford a KU education, and spurs innovation in teaching, research and patient care.”

“I am deeply grateful to our donors,” said KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “In this difficult budget environment, our donors’ generosity is inspiring. It speaks volumes about their determination for KU to maintain its place as a world-class university.”

Highlights of what donors made possible in fiscal year 2009 include:

  • 88 new endowed scholarships and 12 new student awards, which will benefit students in perpetuity;
  • Three new endowed professorships, which help recruit top faculty;
  • The new Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation, which will help develop pharmaceuticals and biomedical devices;
  • Expanded cancer treatment at The University of Kansas Hospital through the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Care Pavilion.
KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management foundation for KU. Established in 1891, it is the oldest foundation of its kind at a public university.
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September 8, 2009
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Michelle Keller
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