Dakota Pawlicki never anticipated a college degree was within his reach. Today he is changing lives as an administrator with Chicago Public Schools. Kristen Kouri expected her semester to be lost along with her family home in a tornado. She stayed enrolled and finished her courses. Alumnus Gary Gemberling will similarly impact the lives of myriad students as a result of his investment in the future of the College of Business.

These three Redbirds exemplify the power of individuals pursing their passion at Illinois State. Evidence that those words are a call to action versus an empty marketing tagline were never more evident than during the past year, as the University experienced it’s largest fundraising effort.

The record-breaking private support of $19.5 million included cash, pledges, estate gifts and gifts-in-kind for the fiscal year ending June 30. These funds will be used to support new and continuing scholarships, endowed faculty positions, academic programs and special funds that provide emergency student support.

The total compares to $14.8 million just a year ago, an increase that President Larry Dietz confirms is critical to the continued success of Illinois State students.

“Private philanthropy is vital to the educational mission of the University, helping us support student scholarships, and attracting and retaining top-notch faculty and staff,” Dietz said. “Our donors continue to demonstrate the value they place on an ISU education and continue to raise the bar for private support.”

The stories of Dakota, Kristen and Gary exemplify the personal impact of every donated dollar. Look at the totality of investments from those who support the University, and an equally amazing story unfolds through statistics. The power of private giving is evident with a look at the numbers from the past year.

“We are so grateful for the generous support from ISU alumni and friends,” University Advancement Interim Vice President Pat Vickerman said. “It demonstrates a strong commitment to sustaining and advancing the University.”

4 ways to invest in your passion today

1. Visit IllinoisState.edu/Giving
2. Call (309) 438-8041
3. Email jdhutch@IllinoisState.edu
4. Use the enclosed envelope

Stats behind the stories

$19.5 million total fundraising

FY2014 ended with a record-breaking total of more than $19 million in cash, pledges, estate gifts and gifts-in-kind. The largest fundraising effort in ISU’s history further empowers the University to support its students and programs.

10,400 alumni donors

Among those who invested in the University, more than 10,000 were graduates who completed a bachelor’s degree. Alumni realize the impact ISU has had as they fulfill their dreams and give back so other Redbirds can soar.

30 percent overall increase

FY2013 ended with a total of $14.8 million in cash and commitments, meaning giving increased a significant percentage within the past year. The landmark total will support scholarships, faculty positions and academic programs.

$11 million bequests made

A significant percentage of the total raised in the past year came through bequests and planned giving. Those who choose this option leave a legacy, while creating opportunity for generations of Redbirds.

16.26 percent, endowment market gains

There was significant growth in the Foundation’s endowment during FY2014, as the total fund grew more than 16 percent. The investment committee works diligently with an external firm to faithfully steward each gift, maximizing every donated dollar.

$100.5 million, endowment assets

Through the stewardship of the board, the Foundation’s total endowment continues to grow. The endowment ensures a solid base of support and safeguard that guarantees Illinois State will remain a premier undergraduate institution.

Foundation board of directors

The University benefits from individuals who give of their time as well as their finances. Members of the Foundation Board of Directors are especially instrumental in providing their expertise to solicit and secure funds. They also work to maximize each private investment.

The Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that manages gifts to the University. These dollars support many student scholarships, professorships, research, and other opportunities for students of Illinois State.

Not only does the board oversee the portfolio investments of the Foundation’s endowment, but it also is in charge of distributing dollars to fulfill the wishes of our loyal alumni and friends who support the University. The Foundation ensures that money given to Illinois State is used as the donor intended and is consistent with the mission of the University.

See full list of Foundation board members.