UNC Posts Record Fundraising Year

The University celebrated the best private fundraising year in its history Wednesday — nearly $447 million in commitments in fiscal 2015, a 44 percent increase from the previous year. The biggest boost came from the largest-ever single gift of $100 million from pharmaceutical entrepreneur Fred Eshelman ’72 to the pharmacy school that bears his name.

The University said its previous record was $342.8 million in 2008.

“Today’s results are a very proud moment for the University,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. The “incredible investment will benefit our students and faculty for years to come.”

A significant highlight was the number of Carolina schools and units that achieved double-digit and even triple-digit percentage increases over the previous year. A sample of how contributions from almost 69,000 donors fuel important growth in programs that touch the campus, state, nation and world includes:

  • Significant year-over-year percentage gains for the Kenan-Flagler Business School (54 percent), the College of Arts and Sciences (30-plus percent), the School of Law (84 percent) and the Graduate School (655 percent).
  • Best-year-ever performance includes the School of Government, which realized an increase of 429 percent that will help train local officials and spur economic growth across North Carolina. The state will benefit from stronger education programs in science and technology made possible by a 173 percent increase in commitments to the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.
  • Medicine’s $118 million, its best annual total in history, will fund new patient cures and improved access to care for people across the state and nation.
  • Aid for the state’s most deserving students — through increased support of need-based programs such as the Carolina Covenant — more than doubled. Gifts to fund excellence in athletics programs increased by about 21 percent.
  • Other significantly strong performance included support for Student Affairs programs (up 143 percent), which will help meet the needs of students in areas ranging from health and welfare to diversity, leadership and service programs. Further improvements to academic excellence will be possible through strong support for the faculty and faculty leadership programs — about $22 million. This includes funding for powerful faculty leadership programs at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities.
  • Research and facilities support topped $253 million, which will help address some of the world’s most challenging health problems ranging from nutrition and public health to gene research that identifies new ways to combat crippling diseases and create new cancer treatments.
  • Ackland Art Museum will bolster its cultural and arts outreach and education programs thanks to an increase in fundraising of 51 percent, and the North Carolina Botanical Gardens will enrich its programs through an incredible 1,201 percent increase in gifts received.
  • Foundation and corporate giving was at the highest level in four years. An example of how these gifts will benefit society and the world is a groundbreaking partnership with GSK, a research-based pharmaceutical and clinical research leader, which has joined Carolina to create a dedicated HIV Cure center.


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