The University of Missouri-St. Louis today announced that despite the dismal economy that has adversely impacted charitable donations, overall giving to the university this year totaled $26.9 million, an increase of 54 percent or $9.4 million over the 2008 fiscal year.

“We are thrilled to announce this record-breaking giving total,” said UMSL Chancellor Tom George. “It speaks volumes to the generosity of St. Louis’s corporate citizens and foundations, our alumni and friends and the expectation they have for this institution. UMSL has bucked a trend with an increase in every donor category.”

Corporate giving rose 35 percent and alumni giving saw an increase of 17 percent compared to 2008. More than 55,000 UMSL alumni live and work in the St. Louis, the largest university alumni population in the region.

Martin Leifeld, vice chancellor for University Advancement, said this year’s extraordinary total demonstrates the multi-faceted connection the university has with the region.

“The success of the university – and its students, faculty, staff and alumni – is inseparable from the success of the St. Louis area,” said Leifeld. “No other university brings more to bear on the social and economic advancement of the region than does UMSL.”

Leifeld noted that public universities suffer from the common misconception that they are entirely or primarily funded by taxpayer dollars. In reality, the state of Missouri funds less than 30 percent of UMSL’s operating budget.

“As state funding for higher education has diminished over the years, philanthropic support has become important to empower public universities to provide essential educational resources to a community,” said Leifeld. “We are deeply grateful to our donors for their generous support.”

Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel