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Carolina Posts Second-Highest Year in Private Donations

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UNC’s fundraising efforts brought in $271.25 million in gifts in fiscal year 2009.

The total represented the second-highest year in history for this type of support, which accounts for money that is immediately available to the University.

In commitments for fiscal year 2009, which ended June 30, UNC raised $290.4 million. Commitments include pledges as well as gifts.

Only fiscal year 2008’s gift total of $301 million tops the 2009 mark, and UNC was in the final months of a major fund-raising campaign, the Carolina First Campaign, that year.

Highlights in fiscal year 2009 included the first major gift during the administration of Chancellor Holden Thorp ’86. Trustee Sallie Shuping-Russell ’77 of Chapel Hill gave $666,000 to fund an innovative new course starting in fall 2009 that will feature the work of active writers, who will hold distinguished visiting professorships within the creative writing program. The program is part of the department of English and comparative literature.

A matching grant from the North Carolina Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust will raise the gift’s total value to $1 million. The state fund, established in 1985 by the N.C. General Assembly, provides matching grants to recruit and retain outstanding faculty.

Private gifts to the College of Arts and Sciences have joined state matching funds to create a $21.5 million endowment aimed at doubling the number of students invited to UNC’s honors program.

A $2 million capstone commitment in 2009 from the Hyde Family Foundations of Memphis, Tenn., provided the funds to reach the goal. With the endowment and more available honors courses, 10 percent of entering students, starting with the class of 2012, will receive invitations to the program.

For graduate students, a $4.5 million grant from the New York-based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will support graduate students in the departments of English and comparative literature, history, philosophy and religious studies.

That grant will join $2.76 million in funding from the University to endow the Mellon Graduate Fellowship Program. Starting in the 2009-10 academic year, the program will fund 12 fellowships in an initial five-year pilot phase, with four Mellon Graduate Fellows enrolling every other year. After that, five fellows will enroll every other year on a permanent basis. Most of UNC’s contribution will go toward the endowment via a drive to raise $2 million in private support.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed $22.9 million for a new project that aims to improve the reproductive health of the urban poor in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. UNC’s Carolina Population Center will run the project, which will measure the effectiveness of various urban reproductive-health approaches and interventions in the two regions.

Closer to home, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund has funded an expansion of a UNC program that will enable more North Carolina high school seniors to realize the goal of attending college.

The duPont Fund, based in Jacksonville, Fla., has created a matching-grant program that will provide up to $210,000 to support new and existing partner high schools in the Carolina College Advising Corps.

Entering its third year, the Carolina College Advising Corps helps low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students in North Carolina attend college. A constituent program of the National College Advising Corps (headquartered at UNC), the Carolina corps places recent Chapel Hill graduates as college advisers at high schools in low-income areas across the state.

If fully funded, the matching-grant program could, over the next three years, support up to 24 high schools that would otherwise lack the resources to provide full funding for one or more advisers.

Commitments in 2009 also helped the University create 21 endowed professorships, as well as a total of 86 undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships. Carolina had more than 75,000 donors for the year.


Related coverage is available online:

  • $300 Million in Gifts Sets Fiscal-Year Record
    News report from July 2008
  • Gifted: The Carolina First Campaign did as it was designed: Bring to Chapel Hill the elements of public higher education leadership. The effort raised $2.38 billion in eight and a half years, becoming what UNC officials are calling the fifth-largest completed campaign in U.S. higher education and the largest completed fundraising drive at a university in the South.
    From the March/April 2008 issue of the Carolina Alumni Review, available online to GAA members.
  • Carolina First Ends With a Bang on $9 Million Gift
    January 2008 news report

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