July 25, 2014
OXFORD, Miss. – One year after raising a record $26 million in cash donations, the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation is excited to announce it has raised $27.4 million in the fiscal year which ended June 30, 2014.
The Ole Miss Athletics Foundation is comprised of members who make a donation to support Ole Miss Athletics, and now consists of 8,625 members.
“This is an extraordinary demonstration of the generosity and commitment by the Ole Miss family,” Ole Miss Athletics Director Ross Bjork said. “It remains our quest to provide our student-athletes with a world class experience. Our mission is being fulfilled each and every day because of the generosity of so many supporters who are filled with the Ole Miss spirit. There are many victories and achievements yet to be fulfilled but we cannot thank our donors enough as we move forward together.”
Annual giving, which is comprised of Ole Miss Athletics Foundation membership and priority seating donations, accounted for 50.4 percent ($13.8 million) of the $27.4 million in cash gifts.
The Vaught Society, which began in 2010 with 29 original charter members, now has over 300 members and received $6.7 million in cash donations for Ole Miss Athletics this fiscal year. Vaught Society members make pledges of $25,000 or greater over the course of five years.
In addition to the $6.7 million in cash donations raised by the Vaught Society, $6.3 million was brought in through Forward Together Capital Gift Agreements.
“With such tremendous growth last year, our goal was to maintain similar levels of giving for 2014,” said Keith Carter, senior associate athletics director and executive director of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation. “Experiencing an additional growth of $1.4 million shows just how committed Rebel Nation is to growing Ole Miss Athletics.”
The last two years combined cash giving totals $53.4 million. This represents a 44 percent growth over the previous two years, which totaled $37 million ($17.5 million in 2011 and $19.5 million in 2012).
“We cannot thank the members of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation enough for the support they continue to provide,” Carter said. “This generosity inspires us every day to keep building on the momentum and increase giving. We will continue to ask the Rebel family to step up in the coming months, and we know they will continue to respond.”
In addition, the Forward Together campaign has now topped $112 million, which comes to $32 million in new pledges for the fiscal year. The total campaign goal is $150 million.
As part of the Forward Together campaign, a $12.5 million renovation and expansion of the Manning Center commenced in early 2013 and was completed in the spring of 2014. Construction continues on the multi-purpose arena which lies on the west side of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Ole Miss will continue to develop the final plans for the south and north end zone of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and the expansion components involved in the upgrade. The expansion will increase overall capacity and create an impressive north entry point that develops exterior consistency with the rest of the stadium. It will also include the addition of premium seating, both clubs and suites.
For more information on the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation and the Forward Together Campaign, go to ForwardTogetherRebels.com or call the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation at 662-915-7159.