Henderson State University officials announced Thursday (Aug. 15) the school’s foundation received $2.27 million in private gifts in the 2018-2019 fiscal year that ended June 30.
The last time fundraising surpassed $2 million was in 2001 when the single-largest donor gift was made to support the construction of the Formby Athletic Center.
The news comes amid a leadership change at the Arkadelphia school, along with some financial difficulties. Henderson State recently asked for a $6 million loan from Arkansas’ Budget Stabilization Trust Fund, which former president Glen Jones linked to unpaid student accounts.
Top gifts for the year included two endowment gifts to support scholarships for students studying history, support for the nursing program and athletics support.
Henderson’s endowment is at $12.2 million and provides nearly half a million each year in scholarship and programming support to the university.
“A strong endowment is a sign of a strong university, so we will be asking donors to consider providing perpetual support for scholarships and academic programs,” said Jennifer Boyett, HSU’s Vice President for University Advancement. “Growing the endowment is important for the future of Henderson State.”
Henderson also reported an all-time high number of alumni donors. The initial goal was to surpass 823 alumni donors, which set a high in 2017. That goal was achieved in early May and continued to grow to 1,043 by June 30 — a 27% increase in the all-time high. Overall, 3,255 donors pledged gifts to the school in fiscal 2019.
“I am encouraged by the number of alumni who renewed their support this past year and even more delighted by the number of first-time donors who made gifts,” Boyett said. “The Reddie Spirit is strong among our alumni, and the gifts they have entrusted to Henderson through the Foundation will benefit the students and the campus for generations to come.”