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Gifts Up for First Time in Two Years

The University received $277 million in gifts from private donors in the past year. When pledges are included, the total for the year ended June 30 is $305.6 million.

The total for gifts is up for the first time in two years, and it amounts to Carolina’s second-best year on record. UNC set a fundraising record in 2008, with $300.3 million in gifts, which broke the $300 million mark for the first time ever. In commitments – which refers to gifts and pledges combined – UNC received $342.8 million in 2008.

The following year, as the economy weakened, gift-giving fell; UNC reported $271.25 million in gifts and $290.4 million in commitments.

In 2010, the year-end total fell again for gifts, with $268.1 million, though commitments rose slightly, to $292 million.

The 2011 gifts, in addition to reversing the downward trend, rose 3.3 percent from 2010 with commitments increasing 5 percent.

“We know that the economy has not reached a full recovery, but our donors remain incredibly loyal,” said Matt Kupec ’80, vice chancellor for university advancement. “We’re very grateful for their support. Without it, we couldn’t provide the same experience for our students, faculty and staff, and our service to North Carolina would be diminished.”

Some examples of gifts and commitments:

  • A $3.63 million gift from The Blackstone Charitable Foundation of New York City will create the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, a five-year initiative to help North Carolina’s Research Triangle become headquarters for America’s next high-growth companies with the greatest potential to create new jobs. Carolina will join partner schools Duke University, N.C. Central University and N.C. State University, as well as the Durham-based Council for Entrepreneurial Development, in the effort. The program will draw from the ranks of veteran master entrepreneurs to identify marketable innovations out of area universities and regional start-ups with the greatest potential to become high-growth companies, and then help them get started.
  • A $1.63 million grant from the Local Government Federal Credit Union will fund School of Government initiatives that will make it easier for North Carolina’s economically distressed communities to get new projects off the ground and give public officials the executive training they need. The Development Finance Initiative will receive $1 million to increase the capacity of local governments and development nonprofits to leverage private investment through tax credit programs, self-financing bonds, special assessment districts and loan programs. The remaining funds will support creation of a fellows program that will provide midlevel public executives, many of whom have risen through the ranks of local government service departments without executive training, with the skills to develop and manage programs and people. The grant supports Innovate Carolina, UNC’s $125 million drive launched in 2010 to help make Carolina a world leader in launching university-born ideas for the good of society.
  • A $1 million gift from David Kittner ’39 and the Samuel and Rebecca Kardon Foundations will establish the Kittner Family Distinguished Professorship Fund in the School of Medicine’s ophthalmology department, creating the department’s largest professorship fund. This is their second $1 million gift to the department in the past five years. In 2008, they established an endowed innovation fund that the department has used to expand patient services, educational programs and clinical research projects and activities. Kittner practices law in Philadelphia, where the Samuel and Rebecca Kardon Foundations also are based.
  • A $500,000 pledge from Howard R. Levine ’81, chair and CEO of Family Dollar Stores Inc., has created an endowment to support undergraduate and graduate students in Jewish studies at his alma mater. The Howard R. Levine Student Excellence Fund in Jewish Studies will support academic studies and scholarly research. When fully funded, the endowment will provide the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies with a permanent source of funding to further the center’s teaching mission.
  • A $200,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York City will enable theater ensembles to develop new works in residencies with PlayMakers Repertory Company. The grant is funding residencies over the next three years for each of the three ensembles. PlayMakers will provide artistic, technical and administrative support for the ensembles as they create new theater pieces. Pig Iron Theatre Company of Philadelphia came in May 2011, and SITI Company and The TEAM of New York City will be the ensembles-in-residence in 2012 and 2013. The ensembles will take their creations, incubated at PlayMakers, on to performances around the world.
  • A $1.5 million commitment from an anonymous donor has created a new Global Gap Year Fellowship Program that gives incoming students the opportunity to spend a year in international service before their first year at Carolina. The program provides financial support to new high school graduates who wish to defer their matriculation to the University for a year to pursue a combination of work, travel and volunteer service, where at least one component will be international. Intended to build on the University’s burgeoning public service, global education and entrepreneurial climate, these nine-month fellowships provide a stipend for travel, living expenses, program and other associated fees to recipients.

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