Alumni, friends help university break all-time fundraising records

Case Western Reserve University’s alumni and friends contributed $126.2 million in cash and pledges in fiscal year 2010-2011, a total that breaks the previous all-time fundraising record by nearly $3 million. The amount raised in the past 12 months also exceeds the 2009-2010 figure by more than $10 million.

“The generosity of our supporters has been nothing short of awe-inspiring,” President Barbara R. Snyder said. “People who come to know our campus quickly recognize the remarkable work of our faculty, staff and students. To their great credit, they then become eager to help advance our efforts.”

In addition to the new overall record, Case Western Reserve donors also broke the all-time record for annual fund by giving $8.7 million to the university. Annual fund contributions differ from many other gifts because the university is able to use the dollars promptly for operational expenses. The number of overall donors climbed above 19,000 in 2010-2011, an increase of nearly 10 percent compared to the previous year.

“To receive this level of support at any time would be gratifying,” Senior Vice President for Development and University Relations Bruce A. Loessin said. “That it comes amid challenging economic times highlights the generosity of our graduates and friends, as well as their confidence in Case Western Reserve’s direction and momentum.”

During the past year, Case Western Reserve announced several significant commitments; among them:

  • Gifts of $23.5 million from the family of James W. Williamson, honoring the Williamson family’s nearly two centuries of contributions to Cleveland’s well-being. These funds will support student scholarships, professorships and programs at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Medicine (with emphasis on its Department of Nutrition) and the Case School of Engineering.
  • A $10.5 million challenge grant from the Kent H. Smith Foundation to support the $50 million Tinkham Veale II University Center; and
  • A $7 million commitment from the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation, also to support the Tinkham Veale II University Center.

The university continues to seek funds to complete the university center and meet the Kent H. Smith Foundation’s challenge, but totals raised to date have been sufficient to retain architects and begin design. Planners expect to break ground on the project this spring and to celebrate the building’s opening late in 2014. The structure will stand just north of the Kelvin Smith Library, and look out over Freiberger Field and the Wade Lagoon.