A billion cheers

Carolina student Jaime Ortega was ecstatic when he got his Gamecock Guarantee scholarship. Anthropology professor Sharon DeWitte was thrilled when her McCausland Fellowship enabled her to visit an Italian field school in medieval archaeology.

Multiply their joy by an exponential factor and you might come close to calculating the full impact of the university’s Carolina’s Promise campaign, which successfully concluded June 30. The 136,850 donors who contributed learned Sept. 10 that their collective generosity put the $1 billion campaign more than $43 million over its original goal.

“Together, we have accomplished something that very few universities nationwide have ever done,” said University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides. “Eight years ago, during a period when higher education and the nation faced tough financial times, we launched the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the state's history. By June 30, 2015, we exceeded our $1 billion goal.”

Beyond the big figure — $1,043,265,730 — the Carolina’s Promise campaign can be told in lots of smaller numbers, including 60,353 alumni who contributed more than one-third of the total; 2,499 faculty and staff who gave more than $7 million; 19,367 parents who donated nearly $31 million; and 7,412 companies that contributed $309 million.

There are 89,417 donors from South Carolina who gave $604.6 million, and another 47,433 donors from outside of South Carolina gave $438.7 million.

Nearly one-fourth of the campaign total came in the form of endowed gifts, which create ongoing sources of funding for scholarships, research and other intellectual pursuits. Endowed gifts for student support totaled $127 million; $46 million for faculty support; $61 million for program enhancements; and $14 million for unrestricted needs.

David Seaton, the Fluor Corp. chief executive and Darla Moore School of Business alumnus who chaired the campaign, is celebrating the campaign’s final tally like everyone else. But he’s already looking ahead.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my part in helping to shape Carolina's future. But even though the campaign is over, the work of our great university continues — and at an accelerated pace,” Seaton said. “That is why now, even as we celebrate our success, we must press forward to meet the demands that come with being in a higher league of play. It is the end of the beginning, a time for the University of South Carolina to move into its next phase, a time for us all to ask, ‘What's next?’”


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