July 12, 2017, TEMPE, AZ —In the months following the launch of Campaign ASU 2020, a comprehensive resource-raising effort to sustain and grow Arizona State University’s educational activities, the ASU Foundation announced the completion of a record year in fundraising for academic programs, research and services at the university.
At the close of the 2017 fiscal year, early estimates show private donors from across Arizona and the world contributed more than $220 million for ASU to enable access and excellence within higher education. The previous record of $215 million was set in fiscal year 2016.
“We’re trying to build something that the university needs going forward, which is a culture of philanthropy,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “All great universities in the United States are built around philanthropy.”
“This strong momentum indicates that our model is working and that our community is growing in its understanding of the value of private support to the university – and of the value of the university in society,” said R.F. “Rick” Shangraw, Jr., chief executive officer of ASU Enterprise Partners, the parent organization to the ASU Foundation.
Campaign ASU 2020 focuses on six priorities – student access and excellence, student success, the academic enterprise, discovery, creativity and innovation, our communities and Sun Devil competitiveness – but donors are able to choose from 5,000 specific areas to make an impact. Those areas range from support for faculty developing space instruments for NASA to travel grants for undergraduates at Barrett, The Honors College to bringing Broadway shows to campus at ASU Gammage.
“I believe ASU is a major life force in our community, and I want to do my part to help it thrive,” said Jeremy Meek ’09, a donor and President’s Club Young Leader. He is one of more than 100,000 individual, corporate and foundation supporters to give to ASU this year.
Though private support is not a replacement for public funding, it provides the margin of excellence that allows scholars’ experiences to transform from good to great.
Around 8,000 students each year receive scholarships – perhaps the best-known category of support – provided by private donors.
Other beneficiaries include the reinvented Sun Devil Stadium, mid-career professionals hoping to transition to teaching and the student-run, free healthcare clinic for the homeless in downtown Phoenix.
One gift made international headlines when it was announced that Charlie and Lois O’Brien, two of the world’s foremost entomologists, would donate their collection of insect specimens and an endowed professorship to maintain them. The gift is valued at $12 million.
“We are so genuinely grateful for our donors,” said ASU Foundation CEO Gretchen Buhlig. “Because of them, ASU is able to start closing the gap between jobs in Arizona that require a college degree and the number of Arizonans that have one. What’s more, they are genuinely doing good in the world through the research they enable and the programs that help our students who might not otherwise attend or graduate from college.”
The ASU Foundation is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the mission of ASU as the New American University. It has consistently received the highest ranking for efficiency and transparency from Charity Navigator, the largest independent non-profit evaluator, and was named a “Top Company to Work For in Arizona” by azcentral.com.
To learn more about supporting ASU, please visit giveto.asu.edu.
Beth Giudicessi, ASU Enterprise Partners
In January 2017, ASU announced Campaign ASU 2020, a comprehensive effort to raise at least $1.5 billion and the first during President Crow’s tenure.
Private support enabled Lindsay Zapata ’18, a Nonprofit Leadership and Management major, the opportunity to study abroad in Nepal. She urged fellow students to find and support their passions, saying “I am a philanthropist and so are you.”
Vice Provost and Dean Mark Jacobs of Barrett, The Honors College, announced during its convocation that namesakes Barbara and Craig renewed their commitment to the college with a $2 million gift to support global citizenship programs. Earlier in the year, ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law announced a $3 million donation from the Barretts to endow the O’Connor Justice Prize.
Women & Philanthropy, which brings together donors to vote on programs they will fund at the university, announced grants for ASU Biodesign Institute cancer research and College of Public Service and Community Solutions’ Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program to reintegrate formerly incarcerated individuals into society.
Sun Devil Giving Day, an annual event each spring, raised more than $3 million in donations large and small from 1,000+ supporters across the country
Entomologists Lois and Charlie O'Brien donated their collection of insect specimens and an endowed professorship valued at $12 million. The gift, one of the world’s largest and most important collections, is transforming ASU’s Natural History Collections in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Mariah McGhee and Savannah Jacobs, natives of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and incoming freshmen at ASU, meet with Twila and Alan True, founders of the True Sioux Hope Foundation that is providing scholarships — including tuition, room and board, books, transportation and on-campus employment – for the students. “It was life changing,” said McGhee.
Reinvention of Sun Devil Stadium to become a year-round venue for learning, arts, commerce, recreation and athletics is underway with more than $80 million in private support raised for the project. “[It] will transform ASU’s most recognizable physical asset on campus into its largest relational asset,” said Philanthropist of the Year Jack D. Furst.
A group of students in ASU’s Engineering Projects in Community Service program generated $80,000 in fundraising to design and build “Engineering Smiles,” a mobile dental clinic to serve underprivileged areas in Arizona, California and Nicaragua.