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By Christina Masciere Wallace
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University's Annual Fund surpassed $10 million in cash gifts for the first time in the University's history, Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell announced today. Bucknell is one of just three schools in a 34-member peer group to reach this level in fiscal year 2009, along with Middlebury and Wesleyan.
Total commitments received from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009, topped $45.7 million, the second-highest total in University history, even as the U.S. economy suffered its most difficult challenges in 80 years. The amount raised brings Bucknell's comprehensive campaign to $122,264,699 in its first 24 months.
"Bucknellians are extraordinarily loyal to the University. We are deeply grateful for their continued generosity, particularly in the current economy," Mitchell said. "They are making it possible to build the momentum of the University as it further strengthens its outstanding academic program, its first-class campus and facilities, and its capacity to provide an exceptional education for its students. More than that, thanks to our donors, Bucknell stands ready to meet aid requests from our current students and ensure that their education continues smoothly, whatever family economic challenges they may face."
Other highlights of fiscal year 2009:
- The Parents Fund set a single-year fundraising record of $1,422,000. More than 42 percent of all current Bucknell parents participated and 45 percent of Class of 2012 parents participated - a record for first-year parent classes.
- The average gift size increased 32 percent, from $1,144 to $1,505.
- Bequests to the University exceeded $20 million for the second consecutive year.
Second year of strong campaign support
Since launching its comprehensive campaign July 1, 2007, Bucknell has raised 31 percent of the $400 million goal.
"The momentum and energy behind the campaign are remarkable in tough economic circumstances," said Ken Freeman, Class of '72, chairman of the campaign and newly elected chair of the University's Board of Trustees. "We are determined to achieve the goals outlined in The Plan for Bucknell, and that can only happen if we achieve the financial goals set for the campaign. The continued generosity of our donors impacts every dimension of the University. We are grateful for the strong donor support thus far and look forward to keeping the momentum going."