At a time when the issue of college affordability is top-of-mind for families nationwide, alumni and friends of Berry continue to demonstrate a powerful commitment to our students. Gifts and bequests between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, totaled more than $13.7 million, a 69-percent increase over the previous fiscal year! Highlights included:
The creation of the Donor Opportunity Fund …
At February’s Scholarship Night celebration, President Steve Briggs announced that a longtime friend of the college had committed $10 million in matching funds to inspire support for the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program, making it possible for even more students to work their way through Berry with the prospect of graduating debt free. … and the new scholarships that resulted!
By providing a $1.25-to-$1 match, the fund allows individual donors (or groups of donors) to create a $225,000 Gate of Opportunity Scholarship endowment with a commitment of $100,000. Matching funds are also available to boost existing scholarships to Gate status and for Gate of Opportunity estate gifts (at a different rate). The purpose of the fund is to inspire others to help students willing to work their way through college, and has it ever! By fiscal year end, 23 new Gate Scholarships had already been stimulated, including three from reunion classes.
Matchless opportunity >
Fitting tribute: McAllister Hall
Decades of science alumni discovered lifelong inspiration under the tutelage of Dr. Lawrence E. McAllister. This year, they found the perfect way to honor the founder of Berry’s physics program, spearheading an ambitious fundraising campaign in support of science education and student scholarships to name the science building in his memory. All told, 108 donors contributed $5.94 million to the effort, exceeding the original $5 million goal before the campaign was even announced. As a result of their generosity, McAllister Hall was officially dedicated at Mountain Day 2012.
More than a teacher >
A record year in annual giving!
Gifts to the Firsthand Fund rose 7%, reaching an all-time high of $2.4 million. These gifts provide immediate and vital support for student scholarships and work wages at a time when both are sorely needed. Your generosity helped us provide opportunities to the 1,800 students participating in the nation’s premier on-campus work experience program.
Helping students now >
Securing the future
The Berry Heritage Society welcomed 35 new members as more and more donors – including many on the Alumni Council – chose to guarantee a legacy for Berry students through their wills or other estate instruments. In addition to guaranteeing future support for students, planned gifts often provide immediate financial benefits for supporters like Larry and Betty Jane Taylor (pictured), BHS members since 2004.
Strong return (for donors and students) >
All in the family!
One hundred percent of the Board of Trustees and Alumni Council participated in giving, a strong indication of “family” support that can prove critical as corporations and foundations considering major gifts to Berry.
Reunion giving for Mountain Day 1011 and Alumni Weekend 2012 was strong (topping $3 million), while Berry’s faculty/staff giving rate (80 percent) remained the envy of many other colleges and universities nationwide. Students also got into the act through Firsthand4You, with seniors giving at a rate of 32.52 percent. Their giving total was matched by the Board of Trustees, resulting in a senior gift of $7,725.