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Every gift counts.

Everyone who knows Lenoir-Rhyne agrees-there's something special about our University. As an alum, parent or friend you know that we uphold our institutional values of excellence, integrity, care and curiosity. As a student of LR, you may have had a professor who challenged you to find answers, a coach who inspired you to lead, or a mentor who set you on the right professional path. As a friend of LR, you may have had the opportunity to participate in the many events offered during the academic year as well as share your gifts as a volunteer, mentor, or donor. No matter what your connection to Lenoir-Rhyne, you know it is a place that is making a difference in the lives of its students and community members.

Your gifts to the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne continue to make it possible for the University to offer quality higher education and one-of-a-kind experiences for its students. With your help, students are able to receive a well-rounded education with opportunities that extend well beyond the classroom.

The Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne

What is The Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne?

Through the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne donors make sure that the University has the resources to train and prepare students for exciting vocations of the 21st century. At the same time, this Fund allows the University to respond to its ever-changing needs, while maintaining its commitment to preparing students for lives of leadership and service. Support from this fund is primarily directed to student need, scholarships, and financial assistance.

The Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne is the cornerstone of all fundraising efforts at the University and is founded on the belief that every generation should support those who follow. Every dollar given through this fund is immediately put to work in support of LR’s students who have a passion to serve and a desire to lead. Remember that a student’s LR experience starts with you and your gifts. Gifts that make every LR student's journey possible.

As a student of Lenoir-Rhyne, I am grateful that you have made a gift to the University. Gifts like yours make our education possible. We hope you know ow much your continued support is APPRECIATED. After all, your gift, combined with others, make attending Lenoir-Rhyne possible." - Stephen Davidson

Why Alumni Giving Matters

The Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne supports every student, professor, program, and department on campus. It provides the flexibility to respond to changing circumstances and to take advantage of new opportunities. It helps to bridge the gap between the actual cost of educating a student and the comprehensive fee. No matter the size – every gift truly counts.

Faculty-Staff Giving

Thank you to all Lenoir-Rhyne University Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff gifts to Lenoir-Rhyne University have an immeasurable impact on the daily lives of our students. Your generous donations help to bridge the gap between the actual cost of educating a student and the comprehensive fee. Each gift - no matter the amount - helps make it possible for the University to continue to offer students quality higher education opportunities and one-of-a-kind experiences that extend well beyond the classroom. Thank you for your commitment, dedication, and all you do to make LRU a great place to live, work and learn.

Lenoir-Rhyne offers faculty and staff the opportunity to be a member of the President’s Society through a matching gift. If a member of the faculty or staff give $500 in a fiscal year, the University will match the remaining $500. If you would like to contribute using payroll deduction, please contact the LR Business Office.

Gift Clubs:
Loyalty Club


Century Club

$100- $249

Highland Club


Quad Club


President’s Club


Tower Club




Fair Stars


Old Main

$10,000 and over

Ways to Give

Ways to Give

With the generous financial support of Lenoir-Rhyne alumni, parents, friends, and faculty, attending LR has become a reality for thousands of students. By supporting LR through the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne, you are helping to hone their skills, forge their futures, and truly make a difference in their lives and the world over. Whether you give to pay it forward, show your pride, or invest in our future generations of leaders, know that your continuous contributions are appreciated and invested wisely in our future alumni. Thank you!


By far the easiest way to give. Make a one-time gift to the University.


You can also give by contacting us toll-free at 800.361.2704 or speak to a Gifts Officer at 828.328.7321 Monday - Friday from 8-5 p.m.


Honor the memory of a loved one, celebrate a friend or faculty member, share in a family celebration, or send wishes to a friend or your favorite professor. When making your gift, simply indicate the person whom you wish to honor. Family members or the honored individual can be notified upon request. It’s a special way to make your gift more meaningful.


If you wish, you may make your gift via check, payable to:
Lenoir-Rhyne University
PO Box 7467
Hickory, NC 28603


Call us toll-free at 800.361.2704 or speak to a Gifts Officer at 828.328.7321 Monday - Friday from 8-5 p.m.


Contact Donna Bowman in the Payroll Office at 828.328.7185 to set your automatic donation today. The office hours are Monday - Friday from 8-5 p.m.


Choose the planned gift that is right for you. Options include bequests, wills, trusts, and more. Contact a Major Gifts Officer at 828.328.7431 Monday - Friday from 8-5 p.m.


  • University’s Greatest Need: The Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne
  • Planned Gift
  • Endowment/Scholarship Support
  • Visiting Writers Series
  • Friends of Music
  • Friends of the Library

President's Society

The President’s Society at Lenoir-Rhyne University is composed of individuals, corporations and foundations that generously support the University and its mission with gifts of $1,000 or more per year. Members serve as goodwill ambassadors for the University, encouraging and inspiring alumni and friends to join them in providing exceptional educational opportunities for our students.

At Lenoir-Rhyne, approximately 92% of our students receive financial aid. All gifts to the University ultimately result in more financial aid being available to our students. Your partnership makes it possible to continue offering life-changing opportunities to students. We are grateful for your trust and pledge to be good stewards of your resources.

Established in 1997, the President’s Society recognizes individual, corporate and foundation donors who have made gifts at Associate’s Council, Tower Council, Hacawa Council, Fair Stars Council, and Old Main Council levels.

Members of the President’s Society set the pace for all gifts to the University. They inspire our alumni and friends to join them in supporting the mission of Lenoir-Rhyne. We recognize our charter members and sincerely thank you for your membership in the President’s Society of Lenoir-Rhyne University.

The President's Society
Old Main$10,000 and over

Fair Stars$5,000-$9,999



Tower Club$1,500-$2,499

President's Club*


*Alumni who graduated in the past 10 years pay $500.

*Alumni who graduated in the past 5 years pay $250.

Young Alumni Members of the President's Society
As an LR graduate, you experienced the gifts from President’s Society members. Now, you have the opportunity to give back. If you are an alumni who has graduated in the past 5 years you can become a President’s Society member for only $250. Alumni who graduated 6-10 years ago may be a member for $500. An added benefit comes with graduates who are employed by companies that offer a matching gift program. Please inquire about matching gifts with your company’s human resource department.


Jayne Abernethy

Jayne Abernethy

Assistant Director of Advancement Relations
Hickory Campus

Endowment Opportunities

Guidelines for Establishing Endowed Funds

  1. Named funds for general student scholarships may be established at Lenoir-Rhyne University with a minimum gift of $25,000. Pledges may be fulfilled at the donor’s convenience anytime over a three-year period. An endowment agreement is signed by the donor and the President of the University.
  2. The amount of revenue earned by a named fund is determined by the overall earnings of the university’s pooled funds.
  3. Normally, earnings are awarded annually as they accrue in accordance with the endowment agreement once the fund reaches the minimum level.
  4. Additional gifts may be added to the fund at any time through current or deferred gifts such as will provisions, by the donor or by other friends and family.
  5. Recipients for scholarship funds are selected by the office of financial aid using the government approved financial aid information. Academic departments and other resources may be used as appropriate in the selection process.
  6. The named fund will be listed in a University publication which provides descriptions and awarding guidelines of all University endowed funds.
  7. The recommended time frame for the completion of funding the $25,000 minimum is three years. Funds that are not raised to the $25,000 level within the agreed upon time frame become part of the University’s general endowment.
  8. The University provides annual reports to donors of fund performance and/or current status.
  9. The University uses an endowment spending rate formula referred to as the “three-year average of market.” This formula is used to calculate the funds released on an annual basis by taking average market value of the endowed fund on May 31 of the previous three years and multiplying it by the university’s spending rate. The spending rate for the university is set by the Finance and Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees on an annual basis. (Yr + Yr+Yr)/3=$ This average multiplied by our spending rate will enable the university to release funds for use by the recipient of this scholarship.

Currently, named funds are available as follows based on Centennial-Renewal campaign objectives:


Faculty Enrichment

Other Endowed Funds

Full tuition, room board


Distinguished Chair


Named Fund Minimum


Full Tuition


Endowed Full Professorships


General Named fund minimum


Faculty Professional Development


Set Criteria Named fund minimum



Senior Giving Campaign

What is the Senior Giving Campaign?

Through the Senior Giving Campaign, you can say thank you for the experiences you had at Lenoir-Rhyne. Your gift, when joined with the gifts of all of LR’s alumni, the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne will be increased and, thereby, make it possible for additional students to afford a college education. Remember – it is not whether you give a little or a lot. Every gift makes a significant impact.

50th Class Reunion Gift Totals
Class of 1962$126,02223.01%
Class of 1963$54,93321.22%
Class of 1964$34,63822.16%
Class of 1965$73,25017.62%
Class of 1966$ 143,46122.89%

Story, Song & Sound

The Friends of Music, Friends of the Rudisill Library, and Visiting Writers Series bring nationally and internationally renowned speakers, authors, artists, and musicians to campus to enhance the education of our students and the lives of our community members. Through Story, Song and Sound, these donor-supported programs build interest in literature and the arts at Lenoir-Rhyne.

Your support helps make it possible to offer students artistic, scholarly, and musically engaging opportunities through the music program. Likewise, gifts to the Visiting Writers Series help bring internationally renowned writers to campus. Support for the library encourages scholarship by stimulating intellectual inquiry and interest in the visual arts.

We invite you to join us as a partner in this endeavor with a gift to the Friends of Music, Friends of the Rudisill Library, or the Visiting Writers Series. The majority of events are free of charge and open to the public.

Why Give?

Why give? Because the world needs more LR alumni. It needs graduates who are fully prepared to lead and serve in church and society and go out into the world to share their knowledge and gifts with others.

Your support helps us meet the complex and sophisticated needs of our students and our world. Your gifts allow us to remain steadfast in our commitment to provide the highest academic quality, to sustain our Lutheran character, and develop students committed to lives of integrity, honor, and truth.

The University has traditionally relied on the support of individuals who understand that what we do here is unique — people with the LR spirit and loyalty — people like you. Whether you give to pay it forward, show your pride, or invest in our future generations of leaders, your gifts will have an impact on our students today and the many lives they touch in the years to come.

Advancement Staff

Meet the Staff

Cheryl Abee

Titles: Director, Alumni Engagement
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7351

Jayne Abernethy

Titles: Assistant Director of Advancement Relations
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7081

The Reverend Dr. Robert Allen

Titles: Executive Director, Advancement Relations
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7313

Andy Anderson

Titles: Assistant Director, Development
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7167

Heath Cushman

Titles: Director of Advancement Design & Electronic Media
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7944

Lisa Herman

Titles: Director, Advancement
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7336

Leeanne Kale-Hoke

Titles: Recorder, Gifts
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7321

Shelby Mills

Titles: Administrative Assistant, Advancement
Locations: LTSS Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 803.461.3219

Dr. Barry Redmond

Titles: Coordinator, Corporate and Foundation Relations
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7080

LaKeisha Ross Johnson

Titles: Assistant Director, Advancement Relations
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7345

Meg Spivey-Connors

Titles: Director, Development
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7431

Linda Suggs

Titles: Administrative Associate
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7108

The Reverend Paul Summer

Titles: Executive Director, Advancement
Locations: LTSS Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 803.461.3237

LR Phonathon


The phonathon is an important link in the annual giving program. Student callers are ambassadors of Lenoir-Rhyne to keep alumni in touch with the University as well as to build relationships and raise money for LRU.

LR’s Phonathon is an important outreach tool for Lenoir-Rhyne. It is staffed by student callers, and these students help raise unrestricted dollars that help offset tuition and strengthen scholarship awards. In addition, phonathoners assist in keeping current the contact information of our alumni.

Student callers are essential to the success of fundraising at LR and to maintaining strong relationships with alumni and parents. Students are the best ambassadors to talk about the LR experience - because they are living it and can attest firsthand to many benefits that come from being a part of the LR family.

Phonathoners call, first and foremost, to stay in touch with our LR family. Callers want to hear about your experiences and share their own. They update contact information and provide the opportunity for alumni to give back through the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne. Remember – student callers can only make the connection if you give them the chance. Therefore, when you see Lenoir-Rhyne calling, pick up the telephone and connect with a fellow LR Bear. The funds raised from Phonathon calls directly benefit students, and our callers take pride in the difference they help to make at LRU.


LaKeisha Ross Johnson

Assistant Director, Advancement Relations
Hickory Campus