Publisher's note: The author of this post, Rich Klindworth, is a contributor to ECU News Services.
East Carolina University supporters are making a habit of breaking records.
When the fiscal year 2015-16 closed, commitments to the university totaled more than $56 million, topping last year's total of $39 million. These funds will support areas such as scholarships, research, academic programs, health care, facilities, athletics and more.
"Pirate Nation continues to be strong,"
said Chancellor Cecil Staton. "They see the need and know that every dollar counts toward growing our institution's impact not only here in eastern North Carolina, but beyond."
The exceptional year of giving saw increases in many areas. The Medical & Health Sciences Foundation had another strong year bringing in more than $15 million, the ECU Foundation raised over $18 million and Pirate Club fundraising exceeded $22 million, including gifts toward the stadium renovation.
East Carolina's donors continue to recognize planned giving as an investment in the university's future. In fiscal year 2015-16, ECU recorded more than $14.5 million in legacy gifts across the four foundations.
The College of Education and Brody School of Medicine received several transformational gifts. Students pursuing degrees in education will benefit from the education opportunities allowed by the bequeaths of Suzanne Brooks and Gayle Shearer. Future physicians enrolled at the Brody School of Medicine - with an emphasis on those from eastern North Carolina - will receive support through donations by Caroline Raby and anonymous donors.
"People are seeing how their gifts help educate the next generation. They want to continue to be a part of that success for years to come,"
said Vice Chancellor of Advancement Chris Dyba.
In addition to individual giving, corporation and foundation support is essential to the growth of the university, Dyba said. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, the Oak Foundation, Duke Energy, and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center provided funds in support of ideas and programs to expand health care research, provide academic support for students with learning disabilities, increase involvement by young women in STEM, assist veterans in job readiness, and enhance productivity in human disease research programs.
"Through our partners, initiatives are being funded that provide opportunities to those who otherwise might not have them,"
Staton said. "We will continue to rely on our donors and friends-from both the academic and athletic arenas-as we look toward the next comprehensive campaign and the future of East Carolina University."