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BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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University cash piles up

While recent tuition increases are putting the squeeze on students’ pocketbooks, alumni and friends of the University are fortunately opening theirs.

The University community is smiling after receiving a record-breaking sum of contributions totaling $11.7 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, a 20 percent increase over last year’s total of $9.4 million.

“Our many friends, alumni, faculty, staff and students of BGSU have been outstanding in support of our efforts and we are very grateful,” Bowling Green State University President Sidney Ribeau said.

The record-breaking sum was largely made up of a 15 percent increase in cash donations totaling $9.8 million, as compared to last year’s total of only $8.5 million. The nearly $2 million remaining were gifts-in-kind, or non-dollar donations.

The list of contributors was as varied as ever, according to Marcia Sloan Latta, the University’s associate vice president of advancement and director of development. That list included alumni, community members, corporations, foundations, service clubs, and other friends of the University, including both current and retired faculty and staff.

“We’re seeing broad support and positive feelings about University initiatives and programs,” Latta said. “Private giving was up in nearly every category, with numerous six-figure gifts contributed by alumni and friends of the University.”

The 2004 Family Campaign, which promotes contributions from current and retired faculty and staff, saw contributions from 53.7 percent of the approximately 3,000 people targeted by the campaign. When the campaign began in 1999, only 23 percent gave donations.

The Family Campaign had a goal of $850,000. It beat that goal with a total of $935,499, almost 10 percent more than they had hoped for.

“We have been thrilled with the increase in the Family Campaign, both in terms of dollars raised and also in participation,” Latta said, explaining that the success is due to the outstanding volunteers working on the campaign as well as the ability for employees to donate money to a specific area of the University.

Distinguished teaching professor Lee Meserve, of the biology department, has been involved with, and contributing to, the Family Campaign since its inception. He said he and his wife, also a University educator, make donations because he has been employed here for 33 years and, therefore, knows the students and the University.

“The students are all hard-working and I think that the University does a pretty good job in what it tries to do, and that is the reason why I’ve given,” Meserve said.

While support from foundations was slightly up this year, corporate giving was down.

Latta said most who donate money to the University specify how their funds are to be used. The funds can be donated to scholarships, the library, WBGU-TV, the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, athletics, the BG Experience, endowed professorships, and music, among others.

University alum Tom Orchard and his wife choose to contribute to the BG Experience: Visions and Values program.

Orchard said his reason for giving back is his current success. He has been working as a stock broker for 27 years, and the job was offered to him by the same University faculty member who trained him to do it.

“I thought back about how those people helped me, and realized that BGSU was the reason,” Orchard said, referring to several educators who helped him reach his success.

Orchard’s hope is that students participating in the BG Experience program will find similar mentorship.

According to Latta, the largest category of donations this year was scholarships, and the contributions could not have come at a better time. Students are facing a nine percent tuition and fee increase this fall.

“I think people are increasingly aware of the need for privately-funded scholarships so we can remain an institution of access,” Latta said.

Niki Messmore, a sophomore majoring in integrated social studies, describes herself as a “standard poor college student.”

“I just think it’s great that we found contributors who wanted to help fund our scholarship program, because the state of Ohio is drastically reducing the amount of aid that they give BGSU and we students need it,” Messmore said.

Last year’s contributions will be added to the overall total collected for the University’s Capital Campaign, which is still in its early stages.

“(Those leading the capital campaign) are in the process of making contact with approximately 140,000 of our alums — our alums support what we are doing at BGSU, and their response has been overwhelming,” Ribeau said.

Last year, the campaign received $6.7 million, the single largest pledge ever given to the University, from Bob and Ellen Thompson, alumni from Michigan. The campaign also received a $3 million pledge from William and Beverly Dallas and Scott and Tracie Hamilton to establish the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

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