Donors Support University of Memphis at Record-Breaking Levels

July 8, 2015 - The University of Memphis has surpassed its annual fundraising record of $31,879,003, set in fiscal year 2013, by securing $37,674,471 in gifts and commitments during the fiscal year that ended June 30. The total includes gifts of cash, pledges and planned gifts to the University of Memphis Foundation, and gifts-in-kind and private grants to the UofM and University of Memphis Research Foundation. The new record represents a groundswell of support from many more donors, 10,359 in all, compared to 9,557 in the previous year. The number of alumni who supported the UofM grew by more than 14 percent.

Private fundraising significantly enhances the University's ability to serve students and support programs that bring distinction to the UofM. "It's just undeniable — we have the most amazing donors in the world," said President M. David Rudd. "There are countless important causes hoping to receive support, and it's rewarding to see the number of donors who chose to invest in the University of Memphis. By directing much-needed funds our way, supporters have given us great opportunities to live up to our fullest potential in academics and athletics. Every single gift, no matter the size, made this historic moment possible." Several factors contributed to the record level of support, including a growing number of new and innovative programs designed to enhance economic and workforce development for the region. One such initiative, the Finish Line program, targets students who were close to graduating but had to abandon their dreams of completing a college degree. Through donor support, these students now have a viable pathway to graduation.

Need-based scholarships and support for first-generation college students also resonated with donors. The First Scholars program offers scholarships and personalized support for undergraduates whose parents did not attend college. Participants in the program are retained at the University at a much higher rate than their peers. Support for Tiger Athletics, through the Tiger Scholarship Fund and a campaign for new athletic facilities, also played a role the successful fundraising year.

"As goals are realized, we set new ones," said Rudd. "My wish is that we break records every year, because then we can provide even more scholarships to motivated students and elite student-athletes. Nothing should ever stop a deserving student from becoming a Memphis Tiger. Imagine how many more lives we would be able to transform."

Rudd was named the 12th president of the University of Memphis on May 1, 2014.

Contact: Gabrielle Maxey