Record Fundraising Results for Colgate University

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Colgate University is closing the books on a record-setting 2020–21 fundraising year, thanks to the generosity of Colgate alumni and other supporters. More than 12,050 alumni, family members, and friends contributed a total of more than $42 million to Colgate this year. These gifts — of all sizes — allowed the University to operate fully this year and to move forward with Third-Century Plan initiatives. 

“Today, I would like to recognize the profound generosity of our alumni, families, and friends,” says President Brian W. Casey. “They have stood with us as we navigated our pandemic response, and they have set us on an ambitious path toward realizing our plans for Colgate’s third century.”

Contributions to the Colgate Fund rose to $9.1 million, the highest levels in University history. These unrestricted gifts, in concert with careful fiscal management, enabled the University to offer a safe, in-person experience for students during the 2020–21 academic year — that included investments in classroom technology, emergency financial aid, testing, PPE, and more. Last December, Colgate community members around the world joined forces for the Colgate Together Challenge, raising more than $4 million to assist with pandemic-related expenses.

Importantly, this record-setting level of support for the Colgate Fund allowed the University to accelerate the implementation of the Colgate Commitment, which has resulted in the removal of student loans from the financial aid packages of students coming from families with annual salaries up to $150,000. Further, the Colgate Commitment will cap tuition costs for many families while removing tuition fees entirely for students whose families earn $80,000 or less. In the second half of the fiscal year, efforts led by the Alumni Council and the Presidents’ Club Membership Council raised more than $1 million in support of the Colgate Commitment. 

The University received transformative gifts from Dan Benton ’80, H’10, P’10 to establish a new home for arts, creativity, and innovation, and from the family of Peter Kellner ’65 to create two new endowed chairs that will recognize the work of outstanding faculty.

More than $2.5 million was provided specifically for athletics, allowing the University’s Division I teams to compete while complying with elevated NCAA and Patriot League safety protocols, even as they excelled in the classroom — Colgate student-athletes broke numerous records this year for academic achievement, including for their overall term GPA of 3.42.

The achievements of this year extended beyond direct giving. The alumni office and Colgate Professional Networks hosted more than 200 virtual events that were collectively attended by thousands of graduates, students, and parents. Hundreds of volunteers assisted in offering these events as well as in fundraising, event planning, admission recruiting, and more.

“Community support in this historic year has been humbling,” says Karl W. Clauss ’90, vice president for advancement. “We are grateful and inspired to have the resources to advance initiatives that will make our alumni, families, and friends even more proud to be connected to Colgate in the years ahead.”