San Diego State University will hold a press conference Wednesday to announce what it called the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the university — likely topping $20 million.
SDSU President Elliot Hirshman and the donor will speak at 3:30 p.m. outside Student Services East (just north of the Student Union), said a statement.
No other details were released on the size of the donation or its source.
The largest gift to the university until now has been $20 million by the late Conrad Prebys, which endowed scholarships for about 150 students a year.
“The gift is the largest single donation ever received by the school,” reported The San Diego Union-Tribune in February 2014. “In recognition of the contribution, the university named its newly opened student center the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.”
The school raised $107 million in 2015-16, “led by planned gifts and endowments supporting scholarships, new faculty positions, entrepreneurship initiatives, athletics and the Pride Center. The Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex, scheduled to open in 2018, also received donor support.”
“The Campaign for SDSU has enabled us to strengthen academic programs while hiring and retaining high caliber faculty to prepare our students for career success,” said Chukuka Enwemeka, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “Philanthropic support is critical to the ability of great universities to reach increasingly higher levels of academic excellence.”
Launched in July 2007, the campaign hit its initial goal of $500 million in September 2014, SDSU said.
In 2016, the university was one of only 20 in the country to receive a CASE award for Sustained Excellence in Educational Fundraising. Other awardees include the University of California, Berkeley, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia and Stanford University.
Two weeks ago, UC San Diego reported receiving $213 million in gifts in the past fiscal year, a record for donations and a 20 percent increase from the previous year, said the U-T.
In January, Bloomberg News reported that 2015 saw U.S. colleges raise a record $40.3 billion from donors.
“In the year through June 30, Stanford led with $1.63 billion, a record for an individual school, according to a survey released … by the New York-based Council for Aid to Education, which tracks university giving. Harvard ranked second with $1.1 billion,” Bloomberg said.
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