Record Year for UM Fundraising Means More Scholarships for Students

Private support of UM reaches an all-time high this year


Categories: Alumni , Campus , Academic , Research , Arts

It’s one for the record books—private support of UM reached an all-time high this year. More than 13,500 individuals, businesses, and foundations made donations totaling $53.7 million during fiscal year 2014.

Private donations to UM support everything from student scholarships to research, facilities, and athletics.

“We are an innovative University focused on providing outstanding education, and our donors are responding in record amounts and record numbers to the direction we are headed,” UM President Royce Engstrom says. “I am proud of the work of our Foundation, our faculty, our staff, and our students, and I deeply appreciate the dedication of our donors.”

This year’s total includes cash gifts, pledges, and estate gifts made to the UM Foundation, private funding secured through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and gifts made to the KUFM pledge drive.

In July 2013, the UM Foundation and UM set out to raise an extra $45 million for students over a three-year period. After one year, the Investing in Student Success initiative has received $22 million in support. Most of the gifts have been directed by donors to endowed scholarships and fellowships. Scholarships are available for students from different backgrounds and in a plethora of academic units. Support will benefit those with financial need and help recruit top scholars from around the country.

“Supporters of the University, both alumni and friends, have been extremely generous this year,” says Michael McDonough, chair of the UM Foundation Board of Trustees. “They recognize the importance of higher education and the impact it has on people’s lives, and they are confident their gifts to UM will have a positive impact. We are grateful for each of these gifts, as collectively they will help support tens of thousands of current and future students.”

The gifts came in all sizes, from $20 student donations to multimillion-dollar pledges from successful alumni. Endowed scholarships are especially impactful, as they provide monetary support for students in perpetuity. In addition, many donors choose to make a gift through a provision in their wills or estate plans, which helps UM plan for the future.

Shane Giese, president and CEO of the UM Foundation, says many factors led to the increase in giving.

“We are indebted to the work of many people, including the UM Foundation Board of Trustees, our staff, and the University administration for their past efforts,” Giese says. “They have positioned us well for this year’s success and the accomplishments to come.”

Largest cash gifts and pledges in FY14:

$5 million for a scholarship endowment from an anonymous donor

$2.4 million for EdReady, an online college prep program, from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation

$1.5 million for a professorship in the School  of Journalism from the friends and family of  T. Anthony Pollner

$1 million for a scholarship endowment to support nontraditional students from the Bernard and Barbro (Osher) Foundation

$1 million for facilities for student-athletes from an anonymous donor

$850,000 from former U.S. Senator Max Baucus’ campaign fund to archive his congressional papers

$800,000 for scholarships for law students from Zander and Andy Blewett of Great Falls

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