Penn State Ranks among Top Higher Education Fundraisers

UNIVERSITY PARK – A recent survey of fundraising results places Penn State 21st among all colleges and universities nationwide. Released by the Council for Aid to Education, the list ranks more than 1,000 institutions based on their receipts in fiscal year 2011, which ended on June 30. The University’s total of more than $270 million placed it ahead of nine Big Ten peers, including the Michigan and Ohio State, as well as several Ivy League institutions.

“The loyalty of Penn State’s alumni and friends is legendary, and we are delighted that their generosity is being recognized with a top 25 ranking by the Council for Aid to Education,” said University President Rodney A. Erickson. “The record-breaking total raised in 2011 reflects our donors’ commitment to the vision and values of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. With their continued support, and with the continued efforts of our campaign volunteers, we will achieve the $2 billion goal of For the Future and affirm Penn State’s role as the most student-centered public research institution in the nation.”

The nonprofit Council for Aid to Education and its annual survey are the leading sources of empirical data on private giving to education. This year’s report found that charitable contributions to colleges and universities increased an inflation-adjusted 4.8 percent across the country. By comparison, during an exceptional year, Penn State’s total voluntary support was up 35 percent, adjusted for inflation.

Peter G. Tombros, chair of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, said, “We are grateful for the attention that our success in 2011 has received from the Council for Aid to Education, but we also recognize the cyclical nature of fundraising on both the national and institutional level and the challenge of following such an extraordinary year. We must work hard to sustain our momentum toward the successful completion of the campaign in 2014.” Total commitments to the campaign now exceed $1.5 billion.

Achieving the goals of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students is more important than ever, noted Rodney P. Kirsch, senior vice president for development and alumni relations.

“This survey puts Penn State where we want to be: in the first rank of American universities,” Kirsch said. “Philanthropy will play a critical role in keeping us at the top, not only in this survey but in every other ranking of educational quality and achievement. Through private giving, alumni and friends are shaping a bright future for our students and our institution.”

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