UNIVERSITY PARK – Gifts from alumni and friends have pushed For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students past another important milestone: 1,000 newly endowed funds that will provide permanent resources for the University have been created since the campaign’s start on Jan. 1, 2007. The most successful fundraising effort in Penn State’s history has hit this mark as it enters its final three years, aiming toward a goal of $2 billion raised by June 30, 2014. Currently, the campaign stands at $1.38 billion in new gifts and pledges after 4.5 years.
“Reaching one thousand endowed funds is a great morale boost for all of us associated with the campaign, but the impact of these gifts goes far beyond an impressive number,” said Peter G. Tombros, the For the Future volunteer chair. “As government support for higher education declines and the cost of providing a world-class education increases, the enduring support of endowments helps ensure that the quality for which Penn State is known will always be maintained.”
Endowed funds are invested and managed by the University to provide income in perpetuity, for the life of the institution. This income is directed to the purposes designated by the donor at the time of the fund’s creation. Currently, Penn State’s endowed funds provide approximately 4.5 percent of their market value each year to address needs across the University, from scholarships and faculty support to library acquisitions and research funding.
“During the economic downturn of the last few years, endowments have been essential to maintaining the quality and affordability of a Penn State degree. The programs we offer our students have remained among the most innovative in higher education thanks to endowment support,” said Penn State President Graham Spanier. “We are profoundly grateful to those donors who have chosen to create such a meaningful legacy at Penn State.”
To encourage gifts to endowments, the University has established several programs that match Penn State funds with donor support. For example, the Trustee Matching Scholarship Program combines annual income from endowed gifts of $50,000 or more with a roughly equivalent amount from Penn State’s budget to double the impact of donor support and direct aid to students with financial need. The Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Program and the Faculty Endowment Challenge also offer attractive opportunities for alumni and friends to partner with the University in supporting top institutional priorities.
“We hope that as the campaign continues toward a stretch goal of obtaining $875 million in new endowments, our supporters will take advantage of Penn State’s matching programs and establish funds in the areas and for the purposes that matter most to them,” said Tombros. “There is no better way to express your vision for the future of the University, and to ensure that Penn State has the resources to fulfill that vision, than to create an endowed fund during For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.”