William & Mary surpasses previous fundraising records

William & Mary raised a record-breaking $105.8 million in a single fiscal year (FY) and now has one of the highest percentages of undergraduate alumni from a public university giving back to their alma mater — 27.1 percent or more than 16,800 alumni. If current rankings stand, William & Mary will now be the top public university in the U.S. for undergraduate alumni participation.

“Last fiscal year provides a powerful example of our alumni and friends coming together to support William & Mary," said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley. "These accomplishments reinforce how the alumni of this 322-year old institution refuse to rest on their laurels but rather continue to make history every day."

William & Mary surpassed previous alumni giving records in FY2013 and FY2014, in which 14,368 and 15,141 alumni gave back to the university respectively. Based on data published by U.S. News & World Report in 2014, William & Mary was ranked number two among top public universities in the U.S. in alumni participation and number one among all public ivy institutions. U.S. News defines undergraduate alumni donors as alumni with undergraduate degrees from an institution who made one or more gifts for either current operations or capital expenses during the specified academic year.

“At a time when other universities struggle with declining alumni participation rates, William & Mary’s upward trajectory bodes well for our future,” said Dan Frezza, assistant vice president for Lifetime Philanthropic Engagement and Annual Giving, William & Mary. “We are thankful to all of the alumni who chose to invest in this great university."

2015 fiscal year infographic
In fiscal year 2015, the entire William & Mary community came together to break records.

William & Mary has raised more than $100 million in a fiscal year only four times, including the last three years. The university also exceeded FY2014 fundraising efforts by increasing private dollars raised from $104.2 million to a total of $105.8 million. Impressively, 35,896 private donors, including 16,805 undergraduate and 4,152 graduate and professional alumni, joined with students, parents and friends to generously support William & Mary in FY2015.

The university received a total of $7.5 million from corporations and private foundations to help benefit students and faculty across campus. Notable grants included $2.6 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to endow an interdisciplinary faculty fellows program; a Broderick-Goldman Sachs Gives Challenge of $500,000 which helped raise a total of $1 million to support scholarships; and, a $500,000 challenge grant from The Cabell Foundation to raise a total of $1.5 million for vital new science equipment.

“William & Mary’s priority is to provide a rigorous educational experience full of opportunity and promise,” said Matthew T. Lambert, vice president, University Advancement, William & Mary. “Private support plays a vital role in ensuring the university has the necessary resources to attract and retain the best and brightest students and faculty who are vital to the academic enterprise."

In light of declining public support for higher education, it is critical for the university to raise private funds to help meet important goals and priorities such as increased scholarships support, innovative and collaborative learning opportunities and teaching excellence. For this reason, Lambert said, William & Mary is prepared to raise more than it has ever raised before.