Knox College ended another strong fundraising year in June, as donors gave almost $15 million to support Knox students, faculty, and the academic program during the 2016-17 fiscal year (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017). In total, 7,622 alumni, parents, and friends gave $14.9 million to the College.
This year's results included a new record for the Knox Fund, or annual operating gifts. Last year's record of $3,808,585 was surpassed by more than $20,000 for a new record of $3,828,952. The K Club, the official booster club of Knox College Athletics, also had a record-breaking year, raising $158,000 to support Knox student-athletes and the athletics program, $30,000 more than last year's record-breaking $127,000.
"I continue to be inspired by the dedication of the Knox community, whose generosity helped us achieve another record-setting fundraising year," said Knox College President Teresa Amott. "Growth in the Knox Fund is especially important, as it helps the College support bright, promising students with financial need; ambitious, talented faculty pursuing important research and creative work; and smart, strategic initiatives. In short, it makes a Knox education possible."
This year's total fundraising came from 4,223 alumni and 3,399 parents and friends. In addition to the Knox Fund, their support funded:
- $2.5 million for enhancements to the physical campus, including upgrades to the second floor of George Davis Hall, housing the modern languages and political science departments; gifts toward the new Whitcomb Art Center; and the first phase of the renovation of the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center;
- $2.8 million to the endowment to support faculty compensation and student experiences; and
- $5.8 million in realized estate gifts in support of scholarships and College operations, including more than $3 million in an endowed fund with annual income to support the new Power of Experience grant, which provides incoming students with $2,000 to fund an experiential learning opportunity during their junior or senior year.
The majority of the almost $15 million is in support of Above & Beyond: Initiatives for Knox, a series of fundraising projects and priorities that build on Knox's historic strengths and invest in the College's future. Since 2011, the Above & Beyond initiatives have received gifts totaling $12.6 million for Alumni Hall; $8.2 million for the Whitcomb Art Center, which opened for classes in January 2017; $3 million to support the first phase of renovations to the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center, and $57 million in support of faculty and students and other campus facilities. In total, Above & Beyond has raised more than $80 million to date.
"The Knox campus has been transformed over the past three years with the revitalization of Alumni Hall and the opening of a new academic building, the Whitcomb Art Center. The campus looks amazing," said Beverly Holmes, vice president for advancement. "It is also gratifying to see the tremendous support for our students through gifts for scholarships, experiences both on- and off-campus, improved facilities for our student-athletes, and support for a new position in the Bastian Family Career Center to secure internships for our students around the country and the world."
In recent years, private gift support has surpassed endowment income to become Knox's second largest source of income after tuition. As of March 31, 2017, Knox's endowment stood at $140 million.
"When I speak with alumni and parents, it's clear that we're all concerned about making sure a Knox education remains relevant and affordable for our current and future students. That takes an investment in faculty, facilities, and scholarships and financial aid," added President Amott. "Our alumni, parents, and friends continue to make those investments in our prairie college, and for that, I am extremely thankful."