Record-breaking fundraising continues to transform Colorado State University

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Colorado State University alumni, friends and other supporters once again have backed the University in record-breaking fashion, donating a combined $172.3 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The total shatters the previous fundraising record of $143.3 million set last year, and gives CSU four consecutive years of record fundraising. In addition, CSU saw the largest single cash gift in University history and set a record for total donors – more than 34,000 – along with its best-ever alumni participation, 10.34 percent. Even as the state of Colorado has worked to bolster its support for higher education, private donations to the University continue to greatly exceed public support from the state.

“We are exceedingly grateful to all the alumni and friends who came forward this year to support our University and its mission to serve Colorado and the world,” said CSU President Tony Frank. “CSU is on an upward trajectory in academics, research, and athletics, and we can’t settle for less than excellence in any part of the University. Private giving has that transformative impact. The generosity and vision of our donors helps Colorado State reach for new heights, break new ground in teaching and research, and create an even better environment for learning and discovery.”

Private support at CSU has more than tripled in the last five years, providing resources for student scholarships, academic programs, research, athletics, outreach initiatives and construction efforts. Five of CSU’s eight colleges, plus the Department of Athletics, surpassed the $10 million mark in fundraising this year.

In addition, this fundraising mark sets a record for Colorado universities for private philanthropic support for a single campus, said Brett Anderson, CSU’s vice president for University Advancement.

“This infusion of private dollars is a game changer, and a loud-and-clear vote of confidence in what we are doing here at CSU,” Anderson said. “Research, academic offerings, faculty and staff, athletics and the student experience at CSU would be remarkably different without these tremendous investments. These donors are ensuring that CSU continues to be world-class in all that we do.”

This year was punctuated by the largest cash donation in CSU history: $42.5 million from John and Leslie Malone to create a new center for the study of regenerative medical therapies for animals and people in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. This transformative gift will launch the CSU Institute for Biologic Translational Therapies to investigate next-generation remedies based on living cells and their products, including patient-derived stem cells, to treat musculoskeletal disease and other ailments.

But it wasn’t just about a few big donations: For the fifth consecutive year, the University saw growth in the number of individual donors, exceeding 34,000 for the first time in university history. In addition, the highest alumni participation rate for the University came even as most indicators suggest that alumni participation rates are decreasing at universities nationally.

“Alumni and donors clearly see a very bright future for CSU, and we’re incredibly grateful that they’ve helped deliver the largest amount of philanthropic support ever raised by a single campus in a single year at a Colorado university,” Anderson added. “This shows that our supporters stand behind the vision of the University leadership and CSU’s almost 150-year-old mission of delivering world-class academics, research and service.”

Other highlights for the year include:

• The first CSU “Day of Giving” in April saw 766 people from 41 states support 66 funds in a single day. Money raised created 10 $1,000 MyState Scholarships and provided funding for 2,135 student meals through the Rams Against Hunger program.

• CSU received $10 million – $5 million from Bob and Kitty Wilson personally on behalf of Columbine Health Systems and $5 million from UCHealth – toward the construction of a new $59 million medical center on campus.

• CSU has climbed into the top five in annual fundraising among its land-grant peer universities around the country, surpassing totals at Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Purdue, North Carolina State, Michigan State and many others.

• Five of CSU’s eight colleges and the Department of Athletics – Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences ($75.9 million), Athletics ($13 million), Agricultural Sciences ($12.1 million), Engineering ($12 million), Health and Human Sciences ($11.4 million), and Natural Resources ($10.1 million) – raised more than $10 million each.