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Knox Sets Fundraising Record, Meets Donor Challenge

$3.8 Million Raised for the Knox Fund, More than 9,000 Donors Give to the College

July 28, 2016

Alumni Hall on the Knox College campus

More than 9,000 donors gave $13 million to the College during the 2015-16 fiscal year that concluded June 30. The total included a record-setting $3.8 million for the Knox Fund, which are gifts that go directly to annual operating expenses. It's the second year in a row that gifts to the Knox Fund set a record; this year's final total surpassed last year by more than $200,000.

In all, 9,015 alumni, parents, and friends gave to the College this year—an increase of 1,272 donors over last year.

The increase is credited to Knox College President Teresa Amott's challenge campaign, "1K #forKnox," which asked the Knox community to increase participation by 1,000 donors during the fiscal year.

Altogether, 1,272 more donors, including 860 alumni, gave to Knox this year than last year. This year's total of 9,015 donors comes close to the previous record of 9,462 donors set in 2008-09 during a challenge by Duke Petrovich '74, chair emeritus of the Knox College Board of Trustees.

Several Knox alumni helped to move the challenge momentum forward by adding promising additional support if the goal of 1,000 additional donors was reached. Trustee Chuck Smith '84 and Larry Stites '63 each made challenge gifts of $100,000, with additional challenge gifts received from Reid '94 and Jennifer Quinn Broda '94 and alumni trustee Nyerere Billups '99. In total, $217,500 was raised in gifts from these challenge donors.

"When I issued the challenge last fall, I was confident that Knox alumni, parents, and friends would step up. By June 30, I was overwhelmed by the support of the Knox community, as well as the leadership exhibited by Chuck, Larry, Reid and Jennifer, and Nyerere," said President Amott. "Knox alumni, parents, and friends can be found across the country and around the world, and wherever they are, their loyalty to Knox remains strong."

This year's total fundraising amount of $13,012,833 includes $4.8 million to support academic and academic-support programs. In addition:

  • $2 million for enhancements to the Knox campus, including upgrades to the first floor of George Davis Hall, which houses the economics department and classrooms for the social sciences and languages; and gifts toward the new Whitcomb Art Center
  • $2.3 million in endowment to support faculty compensation and student experiences
  • $3.9 million in realized estate gifts in support of faculty, scholarships, and College operations, including $2.8 million from public grants and private foundations and corporations.

The majority of the $13 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 raised $12.6 million for Alumni Hall; $8.1 million for the Whitcomb Art Center, planned to open in January 2017; and more than $40 million in support of faculty, students and other campus facilities, for a total of more than $60 million. In addition to the Whitcomb Art Center, design work has begun on the first phase of a four-phase renovation of the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center.

"We are excited by the generosity and momentum of our donors who made possible the renovation of Alumni Hall and a brand new academic building that is nearing completion, as well as offered our faculty and students exciting opportunities for study on campus and around the world," said Beverly Holmes, vice president for advancement. "We are especially grateful for the alumni and parents who actively encouraged gifts through phone calls, e-mails, and social media. Their enthusiasm and love for Knox made the 1K #forKnox Challenge happen."

As of March 31, 2016, Knox's endowment stood at $126.4 million. Annual income from the endowment, tuition revenues, and private gift support are the College's three primary sources of annual revenue. In recent years, private gift support has surpassed endowment income to become Knox's second largest source of income after tuition.

"When I speak with alumni and parents, it's clear that we're all committed to ensuring that a Knox education remains relevant and affordable for our current and future students. Thanks to the generosity of our donors over the past year, we have supported our faculty, introduced new academic programs, provided students with internship opportunities, invested in Prairie Fire athletics, and more," said President Amott. "I am confident that with their ongoing support, we can continue to accomplish astonishing things."

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Printed on Monday, December 11, 2017

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