For Franklin & Marshall College, Fiscal Year 2016 was a momentous year in philanthropy. The $31.2 million in gifts and pledges to F&M is the highest fundraising total in the institution’s history and an 18 percent increase over the previous fiscal year’s total.
"Once again, the generosity of our donors has been exceptional in helping support and sustain the liberal arts mission of Franklin and Marshall College," said President Daniel R. Porterfield. “These gifts support the day-to-day learning of students and the teaching and scholarship of faculty, while also helping to build a culture of philanthropy that is crucial to F&M's future academic excellence and aspirations as one of America's leading liberal arts colleges.”
The record-setting support included the largest gift ever made to F&M by an alumnus. Trustee Benjamin J. Winter '67 and his wife, Susan, committed $10 million to create a signature visual arts building, which will anchor a new arts quad on the south end of campus. The couple helped fund an initial planning phase of the project in 2015.
The Winters’ leadership was augmented by many other acts of generosity, including six seven-figure gifts -- the largest number in the College's history. Since the 2011-12 fiscal year, alumni, parents and friends have contributed $110 million to F&M, matching the highest five-year total in the College’s history.
For the third consecutive year, the record was broken for donations to the Franklin & Marshall Fund by a reunion class. The previous mark of $249,552 was surpassed by Class of 1966. Its members contributed $305,750 during their 50th reunion in early June.
The fund received nearly $4.3 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30.
The total number of alumni contributing philanthropically to the College was nearly 7,000, yielding a giving participation rate of 29 percent. A dramatically expanded program of alumni engagement under the leadership of Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Mary Mazzuca and her staff also bolstered the success of the fundraising year. Nearly 5,000 alumni also participated in events on campus and across the country, an increase of 47 percent from the previous year.
"An institution's financial growth and stability is reflected in the presence, the participation and the investment of its alumni, parents and friends," said Vice President for College Advancement Matthew Eynon. "Thanks to consistent support from F&M's community, the College's foundation is far stronger than it could ever be otherwise. It’s hard to overstate the importance of each and every gift we receive. And we cannot forget the powerful impact of hundreds of volunteers who have helped our fundraising efforts tremendously. As advocates and solicitors, they have inspired friends, classmates and fellow parents to support F&M."
Diplomat athletics also experienced a record year in giving from alumni, parents and friends. More than 2,200 alumni gave to Athletics through the Diplomat Athletic Club (DAC), an 8 percent increase over last year and the highest number of alumni donors in DAC history. The College received $655,969 in total donations through DAC in the 2015-16 fiscal year, a 9 percent increase over the year prior and the highest dollar figure in DAC’s history.
Fundraising for Shadek Stadium totaled $10.8 million at the fiscal year’s end and continues as construction on the facility is set to begin. Alumni are banding together to raise funds and name parts of the new stadium in honor or memory of four iconic Diplomat football coaches: Al Brooks, Bob Curtis, Tom Gilburg and George Storck.
“The alumni at the heart of our efforts to build Shadek Stadium epitomize the F&M spirit,” said Eynon. “The drive -- the unwavering pursuit of excellence -- that our alumni bring to the table will enable our College to realize a vision that will make our entire community proud.”