A Record-Setting Year for Georgia State Fundraising

Georgia State University has been celebrating the number 100 all year long, but halfway through its centennial year the school got an even bigger, record-setting number to celebrate: $38,310,373.60.

That’s the amount the university raised during fiscal year 2012-13 — nearly one-third more than the campus-wide goal of $29.1 million and making it by far the best fundraising year in school history. The previous record was $35.3 million, set in 1999.

“This is an inspiring reminder of just how strong Georgia State’s support is from the community,” said President Mark P. Becker. “And to receive that reminder during our centennial year makes it all the more meaningful. This year has been about looking back on what we’ve achieved and the student success we’ve helped foster for the past 100 years, but it’s also been about charting a course for the next 100 years of success. We are grateful to have so many supporters who are both appreciative of what we’ve accomplished and deeply committed to helping us achieve even more down the road.”

Walter Massey, vice president for development at Georgia State and president of the Georgia State Foundation, says the public recognition of the 100-year milestone “brought Georgia State to the forefront of people’s minds where it may not have been in the past.” It’s helped the university forge new relationships with its alumni base, he said.

“We have an increasing opportunity to meet alumni who haven’t been involved with their alma mater,” Massey said, “and the results we’ve been getting from that have been very reassuring in terms of what Georgia State has meant to them in their lives.”

One of the biggest success stories from the past fiscal year came from the College of Law, which tripled its fundraising goal and has the funding in place to construct its new building. Groundbreaking is scheduled for September. A $5 million pledge from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, along with major gifts from law alumna Catherine Henson and former Dean Marjorie Knowles, helped drive that effort, Massey said.

The university also saw major gifts directed to the School of Music by Aileen and Christopher Valianos and to the Neuroscience Institute by the John Templeton Foundation. Nearly $5 million more will go toward scholarships, including a $600,000 legacy gift from business school alumnus William B. White and $500,000 from alumna Helen Aderhold.

These types of gifts are critical as Georgia State emerges as a leader and innovator in tracking students’ progress and fostering their success.

“Our matriculation and graduation rates show that the programs we’re funding are working,” Massey said. “We’re doing things other universities are still only talking about. These programs will change the face of higher education, and it’s great to be the driving force behind that.”

Massey expressed gratitude to the thousands of donors who supported the university and the volunteers and university administrators who gave extra time and effort to aid the fundraising endeavor.

“None of this could’ve taken place without the Foundation board, the advisory boards of the individual colleges and the deans,” Massey said. “They’re an integral part of the whole process.”

The record fundraising year is important for the immediate support it provides for the university’s schools and programs, Massey said, and it further establishes Georgia State as a fast-growing, significant institution in which donors can invest with confidence.