University of South Carolina

University meets fundraising goal set by Darla Moore

The University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business has exceeded a fundraising challenge set by benefactor and university trustee Darla Moore -- the first step in a strategic renewal process that will redefine business education.

Moore’s challenge required the school to raise $30 million in funds beyond the university’s institutional commitment of $15 million by Aug. 3.

University President Harris Pastides said the Darla Moore school total includes $42.4 million in gifts, pledges and in-kind donations, much of which has come during one of the most challenging fundraising periods in decades.

Moore, who earned her bachelor’s degree from the university in 1975 and is the leading female benefactor of any business school in the world, announced her $45 million challenge gift to the business school in April 2004. That announcement laid the groundwork for the university and the school to raise additional monies for student scholarships, faculty support, a new building and initiatives to strengthen its position in international-business education and spur economic development in the Palmetto State.

“I am delighted that so many of our alumni and friends have taken this opportunity to invest in the business school of our state’s flagship institution, despite today’s difficult economic times,” Moore said. “By pledging their hard-earned dollars, these generous supporters are showing that they value our school’s unique strategy, mission, reputation and leadership.”

The $45 million gift is Moore’s second to the school. In 1998, she announced a $25 million gift to the business school, which named the school in her honor.

Her generosity raised the bar on higher-education philanthropy in South Carolina, Pastides said.

“This is a testimony to Darla Moore’s vision to offer students a world-class business education and the collective commitment and spirit of the university community,” Pastides said. “Everyone stepped up and came together at a critical time – deans, faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni and corporations.”

The financial support from Moore and donors to the business school will enable the university to redefine business education in a new century, he said.

“And she did all this while reinforcing her commitment to a better state for all South Carolinians,” Pastides said.

The news comes just one week after the U.S. Department of Justice announced a 20-year lease on the Close-Hipp Building that houses The Darla Moore School of Business. The proposal will bring more than 250 high-paying jobs to Columbia and will enable the business school to begin building a new facility in the heart of Innovista, the university’s research district.

Dr. Hildy Teegen, dean of the Darla Moore school, said the philanthropic support was broad and reflected a resounding commitment from corporations and individuals.

“As the world of business continues to change and evolve as never before, we must work with our alumni, friends and corporate partners in new and different ways,” she said. “What the university has been able to do to achieve this goal through interdisciplinary gifts, corporate gifts-in-kind for new technology and curricular development, planned giving and individual support is nothing short of extraordinary.”

Teegen said the school teamed up with other schools and colleges on campus to secure gifts for interdisciplinary initiatives, including education, engineering, hospitality, retail and sport management and arts and sciences. One such gift came in the form of geographic information system (GIS) software from IAVO Research and Scientific Inc., whose donation included $2.5 million earmarked for the Moore school to develop programs on sustainability and economic development in business education.

“The complexity of business today requires that we look past traditional boundaries,” Teegen said. “The Darla Moore school is emerging as a leader in understanding the interplay of business, government and civil society and in working with colleagues in other fields to develop solutions for the marketplace that address complex and compelling needs throughout the world. We want to institutionalize that holistic philosophy into our culture at the Darla Moore school and work with donors to create new programs and joint initiatives with other schools across the university.”

The school also worked closely with major corporations to secure gifts of new technology that will significantly advance distance learning, IT operations and risk-management curricula. Other gifts include $6 million related to the school’s participation in the Consortium for Enterprise Systems Management and $3 million from Sonoco.

Teegen said in approaching individual donors who could make significant contributions that will have a lasting impact on the school, fundraisers emphasized planned giving in light of the economic climate. Among those gifts is an anonymous $3.3 million bequest for scholarships and professorships.

The business school also communicated frequently with its alumni through new print and electronic publications and created a buzz on the Internet via a viral marketing video about Darla Moore and the school’s history. The video went from YouTube to the alumni network and beyond.

“I applaud the creativity shown by the university’s leaders in raising the matching funds,” Moore said. “When times are tough, innovation is called for, and that’s exactly what happened here with the interdisciplinary gifts, corporate gifts-in-kind, planned giving and Internet marketing. I couldn’t be more pleased.”


The Darla Moore School of Business is among the highest-ranked business schools in the world for its international-business education and research. Founded in 1919, the school has a history of innovative leadership, blending academic preparation with real-world experience through internships, consulting projects, study-abroad programs and entrepreneurial opportunities. The Moore school offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as distinctive executive-education programs. In 1998, the school was named for South Carolina native and New York financier Darla Moore, making the University of South Carolina the first major university to name its business school after a woman. In 2008, The Darla Moore School of Business added to its mission a strategic theme of Sustainable Enterprise and Development.

The Darla Moore School of Business Match

  • The average gift more than doubled in size, increasing from slightly over $2,000/gift in 1999-2004 to well over $5,000/gift in 2004-2009.
  • The number of donors making gifts over $250,000 grew more than threefold from the pre-match to post-match period.
  • Overall giving in 1999-2004 totaled $12.7 million. Since the challenge, giving has more than tripled.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 07/31/09 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 08/19/09 @ 12:23 PM | Permalink