Beyond Strong | The Campaign for Meredith has raised more than $69 million since July 2012. The current fundraising campaign has surpassed the last campaign by $29 million, showing that Meredith alumnae and friends are more invested in the College now than ever before.
The endowment has also grown to more than $100 million since the beginning of this campaign. The endowment is important because it enables the College to offer more scholarships and financial aid, which helps with recruitment and retention of students.
Beyond Strong this Year
Fiscal year 2016-17 highlights include a $1 million gift from Ann Lowery to name the new Fitness Center in the Weatherspoon Athletic Center in honor of her parents Herman and Ruth Lowery. The fitness center opened to the campus community this fall. And two anonymous $1 million gifts, one that was unrestricted and the other for preventive maintenance, show the confidence that donors have in the College.
The Oscar A. Keller, Jr. family also gave a six figure gift to name the dance studio the Oscar A. Keller, Jr. and Elderlene R. Keller Dance Studio. And Anne Fonville Sams, ’77, gave a $100,000 gift to the Meredith College Beautification Endowment Fund to support the preservation and enhancement of the campus landscape.
“Overall, the culture of philanthropy has grown tremendously at Meredith. Alumnae, the campus community, parents, and friends of the College have shown a vested interest in the campaign, attending campaign events, volunteering their time, sharing their ideas, and giving gifts that are making an impact,” says Lennie Barton, vice president of institutional advancement.
Alumnae, Friends, and Parent Giving Have Record Year
The Meredith Fund has grown in six years from raising $600,000 annually to $2.2 million. Of the total, $870,000 was given to the College’s greatest needs fund and 6,084 donors made 12,291 gifts. This fiscal year there was a 90% donor retention rate from 2015-16 and many donors gave multiple times throughout the year, showing that Meredith alumnae have many areas they are interested in supporting.
Make It Count for Meredith, a 24-hour giving day on February 28, raised $379,166, surpassing the $250,000 goal. Eighty-four percent of the gifts came from alumnae and a total of 1,758 people gave on that one day.
Meredith Mayhem this year had a twist because alumnae were raising money for restoration of the Meredith Lake, not just competing between classes. Meredith alumnae once again stepped up and raised $160,000 for the renovations and a generous donor has agreed to give $250,000 to support the lake restoration.
Parent giving was also at an all time high with $76,000 raised for the new fitness center this year, surpassing their goal by $6,000. A total of $140,000 has been raised by parents in this campaign. The confidence parents have in the College is shown through their volunteering and giving efforts every year.
After a seven-week campaign last fall, 297 current and former faculty and staff made gifts to the College, reaching 72.4% participation. The 1891 Club has also grown to 509 members. This club educates students on the importance of philanthropy and the role they will play as alumnae. And the 94 outreach events that the Alumnae Association coordinated brought alumnae up-to-date on the Beyond Strong Campaign and the role that they can play in helping reach the goal.
The generosity of alumnae and friends of the College is beyond strong. But we are not done yet. We have a goal of $75 million to reach and we know with your help we can accomplish it and continue to raise money for the six pillars in our strategic plan. All of these areas make Meredith College strong and bring strong students to our campus, so that when they go out into the world after graduation they will change society for the better.