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Penn State donors gave nearly $1 million a day

July 21, 2018

Penn State University can apparently lay claim to raising nearly $1 million a day from donors.

University officials said the school that enrolled nearly 99,000 students across 20 campuses last year and boasts one of the nation’s largest alumni associations, raised a record setting $362.9 million during the 2017-18 school year.

That’s small beans in an annual budget approaching $6 billion a year and well in excess of the $327.4 million the state allocated to the state-related land grant university this year.

School officials said 221,700 donors stepped forward with gifts in the second year of a five-year fund raising campaign with a $1.6 billion goal.

Although many donors restrict their gifts to specific projects and programs, university officials said this fund raising campaign emphasized scholarships. It focused on 317 newly created scholarships known as the Open Door Scholarships. The new scholarship pool that reached $50.1 million with a 2-1 match from the university. It will benefit students in programs offering financial aid, mentoring and counseling and was designed to help students graduate on time with less debt.

Some of the largest gifts pledged this year included:

$46.8 million gift of software from Schlumberger, Penn State’s 2017 Corporate Partner of the Year, to benefit the Colleges of Engineering and Earth and Mineral Sciences.

$25 million grant from Highmark to advance efforts to secure National Cancer Institute designation for Penn State’s Cancer Institute.

A $5.5 million commitment from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support global health research initiatives.

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