Private Giving to University Foundation Increases 57 Percent



Oct. 17, 2003 – At the annual Homecoming gathering of the Copper Dome Society, it was announced that giving to the Southeast Missouri University Foundation exceeded $4.7 million between July 2002 and June 2003.

This total represents a 57 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, and includes $1 million for the River Campus for the School of Visual and Performing Arts, the University’s highest capital fund-raising priority.

In addition to current gifts, the Foundation secured $2.25 million from 17 deferred gifts in the form of annuities, bequests and beneficiary designations.  This total represents a 137 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.

“This show of generosity during such a difficult economic period is very gratifying,” said Alan Zacharias, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Foundation. “Private support is essential to Southeast’s success and will play an increasingly important role as we work toward our goal of becoming one of the nation’s foremost comprehensive regional universities.”

Private gifts contribute to the long-term success of the University by helping it provide scholarships and achieve academic and research excellence in areas not fully funded by other sources.

“This clearly demonstrates this region’s commitment to having a world-class teaching university and academic center in its midst. Those who support Southeast are making an important investment in the region’s future,” said Rock Wilferth, chairman of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation board of directors.

More than 66 percent of the donations to Southeast in 2002-2003 came from alumni and friends.  Alumni giving increased 168 percent to $2.03 million, and non-alumni giving increased 35 percent to $1.04 million. Corporate and Foundation giving decreased slightly, reflecting a national trend in higher education.

“The University community is grateful for the outstanding support of our alumni and friends on behalf of students and faculty of this great University.  These gifts are making a difference in the lives of students and the quality of our academic programs,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University.

“These exceptional results came in spite of a nationwide average decline of 7 percent in giving to higher education as reported by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education,” said Zacharias.  “The economy and other factors have made charitable support more difficult to cultivate, but our alumni and friends have shown their true feelings for Southeast by their overwhelming support.”

The Southeast Missouri University Foundation was established in 1983 and operates solely to support the educational mission of the University.

A regional, comprehensive public institution, Southeast Missouri State University enrolls more than 9,500 students annually and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate areas of study in science, technology, education, the health professions, business and the liberal arts.  One of the five largest employers in Cape Girardeau County, Southeast contributes an annual economic impact that exceeds $125 million.