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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.


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 am - 5 pm.


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 am - 5 pm.


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 am - 5 pm.


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 am - 5 pm.


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 how 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.

The LTSS New Life Fund

It is our expressed intent to meet the New Life Fund goal of $350,000. These funds are so necessary for LTSS’ day-to-day operation, and every gift, regardless of its size, is gratefully received. When each and every person who believes in the future of LTSS makes a gift, the challenge is made more manageable.

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 $1,500 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 the President's Club, Fair Stars, and Old Main 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

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 for Donor Engagement
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 Class Gift

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 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.

Learn more about the Senior Salute Giving Campaign.

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


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 and staff gives $750 in the fiscal year, the University will match the remaining $750, beginning January 1, 2019. Faculty and staff contributions already pledged for the 2018-19 fiscal year through payroll deductions will remain the same through May 31, 2019. If you would like to contribute using payroll deduction, please contact the LR Business Office.

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.

Advancement Staff

Meet the Staff

Jayne Abernethy

Titles: Assistant Director for Donor Engagement
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7081

The Reverend Dr. Robert Allen

Titles: Executive Director of Development for Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
Locations: Hickory Campus, Columbia Campus, Asheville Campus, LTSS Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7313

Andy Anderson

Titles: Major Gifts Officer
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7167

Liz Cox

Titles: Major Gifts Officer
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7322

Dana Green

Titles: Development Assistant
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7791

Lisa Herman

Titles: Manager of Advancement Data
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7336

Leeanne Kale-Hoke

Titles: Administrative Associate to the Vice President for Advancement
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7108

Kelly Knetsche

Titles: Associate Vice President, Development
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7361

Shelby Mills

Titles: Administrative Assistant, Advancement
Locations: LTSS Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 803.461.3250

Catherine Niekro

Titles: Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7360

Susan Quinn

Titles: Executive Director of Advancement Services
Locations: Hickory Campus
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7982

Walk of Honor

Leave a lasting reminder of your LR journey with a personalized brick on the Walk of Honor. A brick is the perfect way to celebrate your time at LR or to honor a special alum in your life.

The Walk of Honor's path begins at The Charge across from Shuford Memorial Gymnasium and extends toward the statue of Martin Luther and Grace Chapel.

Bricks are 4 inches high by 8 inches long and can fit up to two lines of text with 15 characters each. They are typically installed once a year before Homecoming.

Bricks are $250 and $150 for alumni within one year of graduation. You will receive a commemorative certificate that you can frame or provide as a gift.

Questions? Contact Jayne Abernethy, assistant director of donor engagement or call 828.328.7081.

50th Class Reunion Gifts

Class of 1968, your reunion is fast approaching. We want to commemorate this special anniversary with a strong showing of support. So far, 73 classmates, or 20 percent, have made a gift for a total of $127,639. The goal is to have 100 percent class participation and raise $150,000. All reunion committee members have made leadership gifts, and they challenge their classmates to do the same. Gifts of any amount are appreciated and help us reach the class goal. Your class can make history by presenting the largest class gift ever, and, more importantly, your support will provide a transformative educational experience for another generation of Bears. Class of ’68, you can do it!

Join us as your class gift is presented to your beloved alma mater on Saturday, April 21, at the Golden Bears/Bears For Life luncheon. Let’s celebrate ’68 through giving back and helping our fellow Bears. Visit lr.edu/IGive2LRU or call 828.328.7361 to make a gift today. The committee is grateful for your support.

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%
Class of 1967$73,00021.80%
Class of 1968$127,639 and counting!20%

Bears Club

The Bears Club is the official fundraising arm of Lenoir-Rhyne University Athletics. Founded in 1946, the foundation’s primary purpose is to support the scholarship and program costs for men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletic teams at Lenoir-Rhyne. The Bears Club coordinates the annual athletic fundraising program as well as capital and endowment gifts for Lenoir-Rhyne Bears Athletics.

Over 700 alumni, numerous corporations, parents, and friends have joined the foundation; and as members of the Bears Club, they have collectively provided crucial support to each of the university’s 22 intercollegiate teams.

One of the most important benefits of being a donor to the Bears Club is the pride and satisfaction that goes along with helping to provide a quality education for a young man or woman how has chosen to attend and to compete at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Please make a commitment to be a part of this future minded cause. Your generosity helps to continue to grow the rich history and tradition of Lenoir-Rhyne University Athletics.

Learn more about giving to the Bears Club and specific membership levels.

Loyal Bears Society

As a Lenoir-Rhyne supporter, you have the opportunity to become a part of the Loyal Bears Society, which recognizes and honors loyal contributors to Lenoir-Rhyne University. Members of the Loyal Bears Society are a faithful community of donors with a deep commitment to the long legacy of the University. Your investment strengthens the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne which supports every student, faculty member, and program at the University and enables Lenoir-Rhyne to provide a transformative educational experience.

Becoming a member of LRU’s Loyal Bears Society is easy. When you give for three consecutive years, you are recognized as a member of the Loyal Bears Society. The more years you commit to giving, the greater the impact your gifts have. It’s easy to become a member; just make a gift of any amount for at least three consecutive fiscal years (June 1 - May 31) or join today by making a three-year pledge.

We already have more than 1,700 alumni and friends who are Loyal Bears. Will you join the ranks for our most loyal donors? Join today.

Lenoir-Rhyne is thankful for the faithfulness and loyalty of its contributors and the commitment they make to the University every year. Loyal donors are recognized by:
  • Annual “Loyal Bear” magnet
  • Special recognition event will be on Monday, April 1 at 6 pm. Loyal Bears will be celebrated at a pre-game picnic when the Bears take on the Hickory Crawdads in an exhibition game at L.P. Frans Stadium, Hickory. Game time is 6:30 pm. For more information, contact Jayne Abernethy at Jayne.abernethy@lr.edu or 828-328-7081.

Impact Report

Annual Report on Philanthropy
Thanks to your generosity, 2019 was a year of setting records, surpassing goals, and celebrating firsts. The fiscal year kicked off on June 1, 2018, and concluded May 31, 2019. Every gift strengthened our commitment to prepare students for responsible leadership and service in the world. Your investment in Lenoir-Rhyne – in our students, faculty, and staff – was transformative. Because of you, our students learned in top-notch facilities, conducted research, traveled the globe, and enriched their faith. Your philanthropy provided students with life-changing scholarships and a liberal arts education of unparalleled quality.

View the Impact Report

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 New Life Fund is the lifeblood of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. Gifts to this fund provide the resources for educating future pastors and leaders of the church. In addition, they provide state-of-the-art teaching technologies for the classroom.