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The 2008-09 fund-raising year for the University brings to mind how baseball fans turn their caps inside out to rally their teams down the stretch, said Michelle Dodenhoff, the University's interim vice president for advancement. For the University, donors elevated their support in the “late innings” of the fund-raising year, she said. Included was a successful push by Darla Moore School of Business donors to exceed school benefactor Darla Moore’s challenge of matching her $45 million commitment to the school. The Moore School match began in 2004 and ended Aug. 3.

“We entered the recently completed fiscal year at the economy’s worst point in recent history,” said Dodenhoff, who presented her fund-raising report to the University Board of Trustees. “While we needed to overcome a slow start and were a bit concerned about how we would raise private funds in this very challenging economic climate, at the end of the day, our donors rallied behind this great University. Our generous donors are realizing, now more than ever, how critical their support is to our students and faculty.”

Donors hear clarion call for private support, respond to the president’s invitation to give

Donors recognize and acknowledge the reach, relevance, and impact that the University of South Carolina is having on the state, region, and world, Dodenhoff said, adding, “The excitement and enthusiasm generated by President Pastides has resulted in the successful articulation of a vision that is resonating with our donors.”

Alumnus Matthew Heric, who earned a master's degree in geography in 1987, said an e-mail appeal for support from President Pastides made the timing right for a major gift. Heric is president and CEO of Durham, N.C.-based IAVO Research and Scientific, which donated 400 geospatial software licenses to the University, valued at $6.8 million. The gift will enhance research opportunities for more than 250 students and faculty, and is to be shared between the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Geography and the Darla Moore School of Business. A five-year service maintenance agreement elevates the GeoGenesis software value to more than $12 million. Nearly every sector of the U.S. economy is using GIS technology, from determining optimal locations for new subdivisions to predicting the relationship between localized air pollution and public health.

“One of the most significant gifts a corporation of means can bestow upon a University involves ever-evolving virtual technology designated for student and faculty research,” Heric said. “At IAVO Research and Scientific, we believe our commitment to providing a large donation of geospatial software licenses to the University of South Carolina is an investment toward a successful future. As a proud alumnus of the University, I am excited to give back to society through this donation.”

“For many users of GIS and fundamental image processing, the GeoGenesis software will be beneficial for their applied research,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Mary Anne Fitzpatrick. In addition to the Columbia campus, students and faculty on the Upstate, Sumter and Aiken campuses will have access to IAVO’s geospatial software.

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