UConn Foundation President and CEO Joshua Newton reported to the University’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday, Aug. 10 that the Foundation raised $78.3 million in new gifts and commitments in FY16, reaching its fundraising goal for the year and surpassing the previous year by $400,000.
The fiscal year’s totals—the second highest in the Foundation’s history—include $16.1 million for scholarship and student support, $25.4 million for research, $29.8 million for program support, $5.3 million for faculty support, and $1.7 million for capital improvements.
All told, $57 million of the dollars raised in FY16 was designated for current operations and $21 million was earmarked for the endowment, which now stands at nearly $375 million.
Eighteen months ago, the Foundation publicly launched its $150 million Transform Lives scholarship initiative. To date, the Foundation is one-third of the way to reaching its goal, having raised $54.5 million for student support.
“The Transform Lives initiative is about ensuring that UConn is financially accessible to all students,” Newton said. “We’re thankful to our donors for contributing more than $16 million the past fiscal year for this incredibly important mission.”
Giving designated for UConn’s schools, colleges, and programs—most notably the School of Engineering and the Office of Global Affairs—increased dramatically compared to the previous fiscal year.
“Philanthropic support from our donors is absolutely essential to UConn’s success today and in the future,” UConn President Susan Herbst said. “The Foundation is harnessing the passion of UConn Nation to create an even stronger and more dynamic university, and we are incredibly grateful for their support and commitment.”
One example of how philanthropy is benefitting UConn and its students is the recent $5.7 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to the UConn Humanities Institute. The donation will support research regarding the balance between humility and conviction in public life. It is the largest humanities grant ever awarded to UConn, and one of the largest humanities-based research grants ever awarded in the United States.
Eversource Energy is also contributing to research at UConn. It donated $9 million to the School of Engineering to help develop predictive modeling during storm outages. The research will help local officials pinpoint where power outages will occur and should drastically improve the reliable delivery of electricity in Connecticut.
“The incredibly generous gift that Eversource has given to UConn has created the Eversource Energy Center, which allows UConn Engineering, Business, and the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources to advance important storm and outage forecasting technologies,” said Kazem Kazerounian, dean of the School of Engineering. “That research is already paying dividends, as demonstrated by the recent partnering between the Center and Schneider Electric to combine and enhance their storm modeling technology. I am so grateful to Eversource for the important work they are doing through the center.”
Other notable donations and commitments include:
- $4 million from Phyllis and Gary Gladstein ’66, and George Soros supporting the Human Rights Institute
- $2.1 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the Center for Health Intervention and Prevention programs, and the School of Nursing
- $1.5 million from John ’84 and Donna Krenicki ’84 supporting two professorships, one in the School of Fine Arts and one in College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- $1 million from FEI supporting scholarships and The Institute of Materials Science
Before each fiscal year begins, the Foundation sets a fundraising goal based on internal projections and discussions with potential donors. The goal for FY17 is $85 million—representing the largest fiscal year total in Foundation history.
“It’s a challenging goal, but we have a strong team and tremendous support from alumni and donors,” said Newton. “I look forward to reporting to the University’s Board of Trustees one year from now and hopefully celebrating the record-breaking year. UConn Nation is up to the challenge and so are we!”