Illinois State University raised a university record of more than $37.3 million in private support during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019. It was the second time over $36 million was raised in the past four years and marks the fifth consecutive fiscal year of raising more than $21 million. Private gift support assists Illinois State in providing student scholarships, program enhancements, faculty support, and facility improvements.

“Illinois State benefactors responded to the call to invest in the University with enthusiasm and unwavering support,” said Illinois State University President Larry Dietz. “Illinois State is honored to be on the receiving end of the generosity of dedicated individuals and organizations.”

Gifts and commitments during fiscal year 2019 propelled the University past the $150 million goal for Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State, with a year remaining in the campaign. More than 51,000 donors have committed resources in excess of $160 million during the campaign to date.

“The fundraising successes we’ve achieved during this past fiscal year and the number of donors who have contributed during the Redbirds Rising campaign is a testament to the spirit of Illinois State and the thousands of Redbirds who are helping us continue to thrive,” said Dietz. “That’s the magic of Illinois State University. We work together to accomplish what we’ve set out to do.”

A new fundraising initiative started in fiscal year 2019, Birds Give Back, aided in the University’s success. Illinois State’s own giving day raised $625,495 through 1,734 gifts and celebrates Illinois State’s growing philanthropic community.

Other fundraising highlights from fiscal year 2019 include:

  • $10.7 million in scholarship support;
  • 42 new endowments;
  • More than $16.3 million in cash received
  • A record-setting year for the College of Fine Arts in total amount of gifts and gift commitments secured; and
  • The most funds raised since the Redbirds Rising campaign began in July 2013 for the College of Education, Milner Library, and WGLT Radio.

“It is truly remarkable that with only a year left in Redbirds Rising, the energy and excitement keeps building,” says Vice President for University Advancement Pat Vickerman. “Our record-setting fundraising year shows the confidence and affinity our donors have for this institution. There’s clearly tremendous momentum and we are going to keep it moving forward.”

Private support has bolstered the University endowment, which the Illinois State University Foundation manages. The endowment has grown to more than $140 million.

“The endowment’s growth is a reflection of the upward trajectory of Illinois State,” noted ISU Foundation Board of Directors Chairman Eric Burwell ’90. “The Redbird community is investing significantly in the direction of the University. The Foundation remains focused on managing the endowment to ensure the impact of the investments at Illinois State continues in perpetuity.”

“The accomplishments achieved during the past fiscal year prove that we’re a university on the rise,” said Dietz. “Our donors are funding scholarships for current and future students, enhancing innovative programs, supporting inspiring faculty, and creating transformational learning spaces. And if the success of the past can predict the future, we know that together, we will continue to rise to meet new opportunities for excellence.”

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