Contributing a record-breaking $31,192,871 in gifts and pledges over the past fiscal year, UMSL donors are enabling the university to move forward on key priorities. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Donors to the University of Missouri–St. Louis contributed a collective $31.2 million during the fiscal year that ended June 30, setting a new fundraising record for the institution.

Outpacing the previous year’s numbers by roughly $10 million, the total includes gifts and pledges made to UMSL during fiscal year 2014. Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Martin Leifeld called the increase an encouraging sign of support among alumni and friends.

“Our supporters have a growing conviction about the importance and impact of the university in the region and beyond,” Leifeld said. “This generosity also speaks to the success that our alumni are seeing in their own careers and a desire to give back.”

Leifeld noted that eight of UMSL’s nine gifts of more than $1 million came from individuals – another single-year record for UMSL. Leading the way were alumnus Kirk Richter and his wife, Maureen, who committed over $3 million for a new building for the College of Business Administration.

Chancellor Tom George (left) and Martin Leifeld, vice chancellor for University Advancement,

Chancellor Tom George (left) and Martin Leifeld, vice chancellor for University Advancement, lead UMSL’s fundraising efforts. (Photo by Bob Samples)

Scholarship support also grew dramatically. Donors helped create 70 new scholarship funds, directing a total of $3.5 million in gifts and pledges toward financial aid that directly impacts UMSL students. UMSL’s unique Opportunity Scholars Program received a $1 million anonymous gift – bringing to $7.2 million the total raised since the program’s inception in 2011.

Other highlights included $3.2 million for faculty and academic programs, nearly $6 million for a new business college building and $2 million for the St. Louis Mercantile Library.

The merger of the St. Louis Beacon into UMSL’s St. Louis Public Radio also contributed to the record-breaking development numbers, with more than $3 million raised to support the integration. The enhanced quantity and quality of news content heard on the air and read online since the merger has in turn fueled dramatic increases in listeners and readers.

UMSL Chancellor Tom George said the fundraising success is vital to the university’s strategic plan, supporting efforts focused on enhancing students’ overall experience, fostering effective community partnerships and strengthening academic programs.

“UMSL students and graduates dominate the regional work force,” George said. “Their success will increasingly determine our success as a region. Therefore, it’s imperative that UMSL continue to be among the best metropolitan universities in the nation. We are doing that in large part with the outstanding support of our donors – many of whom are our own faculty and staff.”

More than 400 faculty and staff contributed funds to the university, totaling $1,883,266.

Media Coverage:
Columbia Daily Tribune
The St. Louis American
St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Business Journal
Associated Press (via KOMU 8)

Evie Hemphill

Evie Hemphill