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Private giving to Ohio University exceeds $55 million in fiscal 2012

Gifts and pledges to The Promise Lives Campaign support students, faculty, programs and facilities


The Division of University Advancement secured $55.86 million in new gifts and pledges during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012.

A highlight of fiscal 2012 was the addition of $29 million to the groundbreaking 2008 estate bequest to Ohio University’s Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology. The Russ Gift - the largest gift to any public engineering college in the United States - included shares of YSI, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of sensors, instruments, software and data collection platforms for environmental water monitoring. YSI was acquired by ITT, and this sale brought the total received from the Russes’ estate from $95 million to $124 million.

Additional fiscal 2012 gifts included a $1 million contribution from Sushila Gawande to support the Ram and Sushila Gawande Chair in Indian Religion and Philosophy; a $2 million commitment from Promise Lives Campaign Chair Charles Stuckey and his wife Marilyn to support scholarships; and gifts to the Multi-Purpose Center capital project from more than 450 donors and totaling $1.13 million.

All told, some 21,142 donors made gifts to Ohio University in fiscal 2012 - 14,869 of them alumni.

"I have been so very impressed by the dedication of Ohio University’s alumni, friends and partners. Their enthusiasm for our Campaign and for the University’s future has been extraordinary. The investments made through charitable giving are a great testament to the quality of the University’s programs and to what those programs mean to alumni and friends alike," said Vice President for University Advancement and President and CEO of The Ohio University Foundation J. Bryan Benchoff, who joined the OHIO team in July 2011. "In my first year with the University I have come to appreciate what a special place this is and what a great team we have."

The Promise Lives Campaign celebrated its public launch in April 2012. The Campaign, which seeks to secure $450 million in gifts and commitments by June 30, 2015, had raised $400.71 million by June 30, 2012. The Campaign’s priorities include support for students, faculty, programs, outreach and partnerships, and select facilities.

A primary goal of the Campaign is to grow Ohio University’s endowment. University and Foundation endowments total $393 million (as of May 31, 2012). These endowments will provide $10.2 million to the University’s colleges and units in fiscal 2013.

"A great university deserves a great endowment," said Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis. "Through The Promise Lives Campaign, we are committed to enhancing our endowment and the consistent, reliable financial support that it provides for our students, faculty, academic programs and for the complete Ohio University experience. I am grateful for the visionary donors who continue to ensure the future of our University."

Already in fiscal 2013 alumni and friends have made significant contributions in support of the Campaign, bringing the total raised through July 27 to more than $406 million.