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Penn State Receives $381 Million In Donations In Fiscal Year, Breaks Record

Penn State received more than $381 million in donations this fiscal year and set a new all-time record, President Eric Barron announced during last week’s Board of Trustees meeting.

According to a university press release published Monday morning, the university’s $381,323,670 donation total, collected throughout the fiscal year that ended on June 30, surpassed last year’s record of $372,555,732. This is now the third year in a row Penn State has set a record-breaking commitment total.

“Penn Staters have rallied to the need of our students and our institution with gifts that express their belief in our shared future and our capacity to lead the way out of the present crises,” Barron said. “I know that these are difficult times for many members of the Penn State community, both near and far from our campuses, and that there are many demands upon their attention, energy, and resources. The continuing support we have received is both humbling and inspiring, and we are committed to fulfilling the faith in our institution that is reflected in this year’s fundraising results.”

Barron noted the increased donations should help Penn State combat the coronavirus pandemic and support students during difficult times. Collected gifts typically benefit student scholarships, on-campus construction projects, and relief funds for those in need.

Some of the largest gifts this year have included a $15.5 million donation to help build the Palmer Museum of Art’s new home, a $15.5 million gift to create a scholars program and support diversity within the College of Engineering, and a $5 donation to create the Tariff Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility within the Smeal College of Business.

Barron added these gifts will help the university continue to support “A Greater Penn State For 21st Century Excellence,” its current fundraising campaign. The drive, which aims to support students, create “transformative experiences,” and fuel “discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship,” has already raised $1.467 billion of its $2.1 billion goal.

“The campaign’s continued momentum, even in the midst of this global crisis, reflects the commitment of our alumni and friends to its vision of Penn State as a higher education leader,” O. Richard Bundy III, vice president for development and alumni relations, said. “Our land-grant mission to serve the greater good has never had more meaning or more urgency, and philanthropy will be essential to fulfilling that mission. Over the past year, our supporters have helped us to both meet the challenges of the present moment and set in motion our vision for a brighter future. Penn State is profoundly grateful for every gift, at every level, that helps us to become an even stronger and more resilient institution.”

Throughout the year, Penn State has helped raise funds for a number of other small-scale projects. Most notably, it raised more than $650,000 for the university’s Student Care and Advocacy Emergency Fund, which supports students struggling economically during the coronavirus pandemic. Penn Staters’ generosity also helped the university raise more than $213,000 to support food pantries and beat out Ohio State in this spring’s Tackle Hunger challenge.

Furthermore, Penn State’s Alumni Association ended the fiscal year with its highest membership number in five years. The organization’s 174,697 registered members marks the third-best total in its history.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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