The University of Central Arkansas raised a record total of $10.25 million for 2017-18, a 66% increase over the previous year.
The total also surpassed two previous fundraising goals the university’s Division of Advancement set. The initial goal of $6.5 million was reached by mid-year, so the university established a stretch goal of $10 million, which was also surpassed.
“Speaking on behalf of the university and especially our students, we are extremely grateful to all of our donors and community partners,” UCA President Houston Davis said in a statement. “They are helping to provide opportunities such as scholarships, study abroad support, internships and research experiences, as well as ensuring that our students have state-of-the-art equipment and support while they pursue their degree.”
According to a news release, the fundraising total included several other milestones for the university, including private scholarships awarded, net asset total and Day of Giving totals.
The fourth annual Day of Giving had a 947% increase in funds raised, according to the release. The initial goal for the one-day campaign held in March was $50,000. By giving donors more fund options to which they could donate, the Day of Giving raised $434,526.
Other major factors in the year-end totals were four gifts of at least $1 million each and a significant increase in alumni and donor contacts. One such gift was made by Rick and Anne Massey to support the retention of first-generation college students through need-based scholarships. The gift was made in honor of Arch Ford, a 1930 Arkansas State Teachers College (now UCA) graduate who served as the commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education from 1953-78.
The fiscal year also marked the first time the university’s foundation awarded more than $1 million in private scholarships in a single academic year. The foundation awarded a total of $1.22 million, bringing the UCA Foundation’s total scholarships to more than $11 million since its inception in 1981.
The UCA Foundation’s net assets are $50.46 million, making this the first time net assets have exceeded $50 million. The endowment is $27.87 million.