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University private giving reaches record $107.5 million

The University of South Carolina reached a record $107.5 million in private giving for the year ending June 30, thanks to the support of 46,469 donors.

The fundraising total -- up from the previous record of $106.2 million in 2007-08 – comes at a time when The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports a 6 percent drop in charitable giving to education in 2008.

University President Harris Pastides said the level of giving from the university’s alumni and friends is a measure of the esteem and loyalty that they hold for the institution and a realization of the support that is needed to help more students earn college degrees.

“I am especially gratified that, in the midst of this difficult economic downturn, the university’s friends supported our core mission of teaching, research and outreach on every campus,” he said. “This speaks volumes about the strong foundation we have to build upon for Carolina’s future.”

Among the gifts: $22.9 million for scholarships, assistantships and fellowships; $5.8 million for capital projects; $4.1 million in unrestricted gifts; $3.6 million from the university’s faculty and staff for the annual Family Fund; and $300,000 to support faculty through endowed professorships and chairs, as well as gifts for research and outreach programs.

Michelle Dodenhoff, interim vice president for University Advancement, said donors recognize and acknowledge the reach, relevance and impact that the University of South Carolina has on the state, nation and world.

“Although we had some concerns about raising funds in this very challenging economic climate, our generous donors realized how critical their support is to our students and faculty,” she said. “University alumni, friends, students, parents, businesses and private foundations rallied to enable us to reach this remarkable record.”

N.Y. lawyer Michael Bond, who earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1977, gave $250,000 to endow a Carolina Scholar award in honor of his parents William H. and Ruth C. Bond.

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