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Despite Economy, Philanthropy to PSU Up

An interesting thing to come out of this month’s Board of Trustees meeting, other than the proposed tuition hikes, is the news that Penn State received the second highest amount of donations ever for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

Penn State received over 300,000 separate gifts from over 77,000 alumni, totaling $180 million in donations, reported Peter Tombros, volunteer chair  of the University’s capital campaign. The $180 million received was surpassed only by the $190.3 million donated in the 2006-2007 fiscal year.

The University’s capital campaign, known as For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, has raised over $750 million since its inception on Jan. 1, 2007.

Our Dear Leader, President Spanier, had this to say about the effort of Mr. Tombros and his committee,

“Their hard work, combined with the generosity of alumni and friends, has put the University in an excellent position to launch the campaign’s public phase. The campaign’s strong momentum also encourages us to offer additional major gift opportunities. In the months ahead, I will be holding a series of discussions with prospective donors in various parts of the country to determine how they might want to be more closely involved in supporting specific Penn State programs.”

The main goal of the fund-raising initiative is to provide scholarships to students who need them. Other goals include, “securing additional resources to enhance the student experience beyond the classroom and lab, strengthen honors education, increase the number of endowed faculty positions, and foster discovery and creativity through research and other scholarly endeavors.”

2009 Conversion ChartSo this all sounds well and good, but if you take a look at the conversion rates of gifts to Penn State in years past the number isn’t as impressive as it sounds. Converting the dollar amounts of the gifts from years past into 2009 dollars you can see that compared to years earlier in the decade (2000-2003 especially). S0 perhaps this number isn’t as impressive as it appears at first blush.

Silver Lining Alert!: Regardless of the conversion to 2009 dollars or not, philanthropy to Old State was up from last year, regardless of the economic situation.

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About the Author

Chase Tralka

Chase Tralka is a Senior majoring in Information Sciences and Technology with a minor in Security and Risk Analysis. He is from Northern New Jersey and is involved in far too many organizations to list here. He enjoys photography, cycling, and listening to obscure free jazz music.

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