OXFORD, Miss. -- With the announcement today of $122.6 million in fiscal 2012 private support to the University of Mississippi, donations to the state's flagship university achieved the second highest year of giving in its 165-year history.
"This is an extraordinary demonstration of the generosity and commitment of Ole Miss alumni and friends," said Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones. "A tough economy makes this support especially noteworthy, as donations from our supporters came within $600,000 of the all-time record ($123.2 million) set in 2002."
Jones said donors have directed a significant majority of 2012 gifts to support academic leadership and student scholarships. Support for athletics is up significantly, as well, due to the tremendous support by fans for the university's Forward Together campaign.
"These gifts are essential to delivering on our promise to Mississippi of national leadership in higher education and service programs that advance our state," Jones said. "The rewards of these donations can be seen in the top faculty and staff who have been attracted to our commitment to leadership and the national rankings and honors for so many of the educational opportunities offered at Ole Miss."
Among programs honored for national leadership in 2012 were the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, the Patterson School of Accountancy, the School of Business Administration, the School of Law, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the Creative Writing program, the School of Pharmacy, the forensic chemistry program within the College of Liberal Arts and the Army ROTC department.
Wendell Weakley, president and CEO of the University of Mississippi Foundation, said, "Our supporters are seeing solid evidence of a tremendous return on their investments in Ole Miss. Whether it is our number one university ranking by Forbes in the five-state mid-South region or our top ten ranking in the United States for our School of Accountancy, the investments by our donors are paying huge dividends. We deeply appreciate this continued support, and we are thankful for the trust placed in our foundation and our university."
Weakley said private support in cash and realized gifts increased nearly 40 percent from fiscal 2011 to $80.4 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012. New pledges receivable for this period to be paid in future years tripled from $7.1 million in fiscal 2011 to over $21 million in fiscal 2012. When combined with deferred and planned gifts committed in 2012, total private support totaled $122.6.
The fiscal 2012 total includes over $38 million in gifts and pledges that are part of annual athletics fundraising efforts and also gifts and pledge commitments to be received as part of the Forward Together campaign. The Campaign has surpassed the $65 million mark on its way to a goal of $150 million.