Lawrence University alumni and friends rewarded first-year President Mark Burstein with a special present — a record-setting fundraising total.
But the real beneficiaries are Lawrence’s students.
For the recently completed 2013-14 fiscal year, the college raised an institutional record $3.7 million for the Lawrence Fund, breaking the previous mark of $3,647,259 set in 2008-09.
The Lawrence Fund, the college’s annual giving program, provides close to 10 percent of the annual operating budget and helps bridge the gap between what students pay in tuition and actual operating costs. The Lawrence Fund and endowment earnings help reduce each student’s tuition by more than $10,000 per year, provide much-needed support for everything from scholarships and classroom resources to athletic equipment and sheet music for conservatory students.
Lawrence’s overall fundraising for the 2013-14 fiscal year totaled $17,681,384, the sixth-most in school history.
“This past fiscal year’s record-setting Lawrence Fund total is testament to our alumni’s loyal support of the college’s mission. I’m humbled by the generosity of the 10,308 individual donors who gave to Lawrence last year,” said Burstein, who marked the end of his inaugural year as president June 30. Earlier this year, Forbes ranked Lawrence highest of any college or university in Wisconsin on its 2014 Grateful Grads Index.
Helping the Lawrence Fund establish an institutional all-time high was a record-setting gift of $804,817 by members of the Class of 1964, the most ever by a 50th reunion class.
Lawrence also added 90 new members in the past fiscal year to its Legacy Circle, the college’s planned giving program. It was the most new members in a single year since 2000 and raised the program’s total to a record 907 members.
“Making Lawrence more affordable is among our highest priorities,” said Burstein. “Support for the Lawrence Fund assures students and families from all incomes that a Lawrence education remains accessible at a time when they have less resources to support their children in college. No other form of giving has a more direct and meaningful impact on our students.”
For the second year in a row, the Lawrence Fund enjoyed 100 percent participation from all 30 members of the Lawrence Board of Trustees as well as all 35 members of the Lawrence University Alumni Association Board of Directors. Collectively, they contributed a total of $587,986 — nearly 16 percent — to the fund’s overall total.
Among Lawrence’s 20,500 alumni, nearly 36 percent contributed to Lawrence’s overall fundraising efforts in the past fiscal year. According to the New York City-based Council for Aid to Education’s most recent Voluntary Support of Education Report, private baccalaureate institutions averaged 20.1 percent alumni participation in 2012-13 (the most recent year for which figures are available.)
About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.