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University Relations

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Jan. 24, 2005
Contact: John Scarffe, KU Endowment Association, (785) 832-7336.

KU First surpasses goal; more than $653 million raised for KU

LAWRENCE -- KU First: Invest in Excellence, the third and largest fund-raising campaign for the University of Kansas, has raised more than $653 million to benefit the students, faculty, facilities and programs of KU on all of its campuses.

The total includes all gifts to KU Endowment given or pledged during KU First, which ran from July 1, 1998, through Dec. 31, 2004. The amount raised was announced Friday during an event conducted by the Kansas University Endowment Association for KU First volunteers and donors.

" Thanks to the generosity of more than 100,000 KU alumni and friends, the landscape of the university on many levels has changed from what it was in 1998," Chancellor Robert Hemenway said. "We have a greater ability to attract and retain faculty with international reputations for research and teaching, who in turn motivate top graduate and undergraduate students to attend KU and bring research dollars to the state of Kansas. We can offer hundreds more scholarships for high-achieving students and those in need. We have new facilities in which to house and teach students, conduct research and offer state-of-the-art medical care.

" Through the generosity of private donors," Hemenway continued, "the horizons of current and future KU students -- and those of the people of Kansas and its economy -- have broadened."

Forrest Hoglund, engineering '56 and chairman of KU First, said donors helped KU reach more than a monetary goal for the university.

" This campaign has always been about the individuals -- individuals who will benefit for generations because of the generosity of other KU friends and alumni," Hoglund said. "The donors who committed their support for KU during this campaign are going to have a lasting impact on the student who needs a scholarship to attain the education of their dreams, on the student-athlete who strives to break records, and on the professor who inspires students to pursue ever-greater educational achievements."

Most of the gifts to KU First have already been designated for specific projects or areas. About $490 million, or 75 percent, of those gifts have been received, while outstanding pledges and deferred gift commitments compose the remainder.

Of the total raised, $98.6 million represents deferred gifts such as trusts and bequests. Deferred gifts provide support for KU in the future when a trust terminates or, in the case of a bequest, after the death of a donor or family member. In addition, about $154 million of the total raised is designated for endowed funds. Endowed funds are invested to provide support for the university in perpetuity. Interest earned helps support the area designated by a donor.

For students, donors committed $113.6 million, including support for 493 new scholarships. Donors pledged or gave $65.5 million for initiatives that help KU attract and retain the best faculty members, such as 65 new professorships. In addition, donors committed $132.3 million for research programs and facilities. The total raised includes more than $97 million committed by donors for 32 campus improvements and new structures, including research laboratories, classrooms and athletics facilities.

Members of the KU community also gave during KU First through the University Family Campaign. More than $26.7 million was given or pledged by faculty, classified and unclassified staff members, and retirees during the campaign.

During KU First, faculty members, campaign volunteers and KU Endowment staff members made more than 16,000 personal contacts with potential donors. Their work helped put the campaign over its original goal of $500 million in 2003, when it was increased to a goal to exceed $600 million.

The goal of KU First was above the national average, according to a survey conducted by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, or CASE. In a survey of private and public higher education institutions conducting campaigns in the 2002-03 academic year, the 119 institutions that responded named fund-raising goals from $1.2 million to $2.4 billion, with the mean average goal at $249 million.

" KU friends and alumni put KU first and proved that we could meet and exceed our goal," Hemenway said. "Donors are a part of a continuing tradition of private and public partnerships. These partnerships build on the assistance provided by the state of Kansas, which still must fund the operating budget of the university."

KU Endowment is an independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fund-raising and fund-management organization for the University of Kansas. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment is the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university and one of the largest.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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