Lenoir-Rhyne University raised more than $8.1 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year, which ended May 31. The funds raised will support key initiatives across campus, including scholarships, faculty support, and campus infrastructure.
It was a year of setting records, surpassing goals, and celebrating firsts, including:
- More than 12 percent of alumni made a gift to LR. This statistic is commonly used in college rankings and grant applications.
- More than 75 donors committed $27,115 during LR's inaugural Giving Tuesday campaign.
- More than 300 people made gifts on April 12, raising more than $100,000 for the inaugural Bears Have Heart Giving Day.
- More than 20 percent of classmates from the 1950s decade made a gift to the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne, awarding them the first-ever Battle of the Bears championship for highest participation.
- The Class of 1968 raised $150,000, setting a record for the largest 50th Reunion class gift.
- The Class of 2018 raised $2,656, reviving the tradition of senior class giving.
- $100,000 was donated for installation of permanent grandstands at the Moretz Sports Complex.
- Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) received a bequest of $1.3 million from Dr. Hulda J. Wohltmann.
- Secured a $400,000 grant from The Cannon Charitable Trusts to fund critical infrastructure improvements on the Hickory and Columbia campuses.
- Raised more than $300,000 for the New Life Fund at LTSS.
- Raised more than $675,000 in unrestricted annual operating support for the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne.
- Received an $86,500 gift from an anonymous donor to support programs in sustainability studies at LR's Asheville Center related to permaculture study and practices.
"These incredible numbers show that people believe in Lenoir-Rhyne University's power to effect change," said President Fred Whitt. "Our donors understand that we are creating opportunities, changing lives, and moving LR forward. This year's success speaks directly to the loyalty and generosity of our alumni and donors, and we're very thankful."
President Whitt and Cat Serrin Niekro, vice president of institutional advancement, said the goal now is to build on the momentum established with this year's achievements.
"This incredible milestone in our University's history is certainly a cause for celebration, thanks to our loyal donors, and we want to celebrate them," Niekro said. "We know there is more work to be done, but I'm confident that given the fierce generosity of our alumni and friends, we will realize even more success."