Humboldt State University is thanking alumni today for an 84% increase in the number of them who made a gift to the institution last year. This information comes from a recently submitted annual report on 2006-2007 academic year giving to the American Council on Education.
The new record level of alumni donors is important, “not only because it supports scholarships, faculty, and the teaching and learning enterprise, but it is also an indication of growing alumni interest and care for their alma mater,” explains Vice President for Advancement Rob Gunsalus.
Total giving, excluding bequests, also increased 43% to $3,824,973, the highest level in eight years. An additional $1,004,876 came in from bequests to bring the grand total to $4,829,819.
Gunsalus credits, “the wonderful generosity of alumni, corporations, foundations and other friends of the University” for the increases, and went on to state that, “it is really a testament to the appreciation these donors have for the terrific work of the faculty and President Richmond’s leadership.”
When asked if the increase in giving could help alleviate pressures on the budget, Gunsalus replies, “Nearly all of this money is designated by the donors to go toward specific departments or purposes, like scholarships, or research, or new equipment. It has a real and positive impact for the students, faculty and programs of HSU, but it’s affect on the annual operating budget is minimal.”
In addition to the new gifts coming in, the Advancement Foundation showed a 17.19% rate of return on its investments last year, helping grow the University’s total endowment to $18,796,897.
“The creation of the Advancement Foundation and with it new prudent investment policies oriented toward moderate growth is proving to be a pivotal moment in HSU’s journey toward long-term fiscal stability and prosperity,” says Gunsalus. “Investment returns alone can’t be counted on to grow the endowment. It takes generous alumni and others to get the endowment to a level that ensures on-going access by qualified students and the continuation of high-quality programs.”