Clemson fundraising tops $156 million, creates 88 new scholarships and fellowships, Cornerstone Partners for Academics


Private gifts to Clemson University and IPTAY in the fiscal year ending June 30 set annual fundraising records for another year. This is the seventh consecutive year that annual fundraising at Clemson has exceeded $100 million and the second straight year it topped $150 million.

The $156.6 million raised this year includes $95.9 million in cash, pledges and gifts-in-kind; $16 million in planned gifts; and $44.7 million raised by IPTAY through its annual fund to support athletics.

More than 25,000 alumni supported the university with annual gifts. That 23.7 percent alumni giving participation rate is ranked fourth in the nation by U.S.News and World Report. Clemson’s third-annual Give Day contributed more than $1.4 million from 3,673 donors. There also were 1,078 faculty and staff members who made gifts.

“I am incredibly grateful for the generosity of all of the donors who supported Clemson this year,” said Clemson President James P. Clements. “Private support is critical to maintaining the tremendous momentum we have developed so that we can continue to have a positive impact on South Carolina and across the nation through education, research and public service. Every dollar helps make a difference for our students, faculty and staff.”

Clemson became the first university with an alumni base of fewer than 150,000 people to complete a $1 billion capital campaign with the conclusion of its The Will to Lead campaign in 2016. The university has raised nearly $700 million since Clements became president in December 2013.

The gifts in 2018 enabled the university to create 88 new scholarships and fellowships, establish 64 new endowments and fund numerous academic and athletic facility construction or renovation projects. Among them, $1.5 million was unrestricted and 99 donors gave $2 million to the Leadership Circleprogram.

The year’s philanthropic highlights include the launch of the Cornerstone Partners for Academics program, modeled after the successful Cornerstone Partners for Athletics program. The Cornerstone program is made up of visionary individuals who commit transformational funding of $2.5 million or more to help set the course for Clemson’s future success as one of the nation’s top-ranked public universities.

The university celebrated three Cornerstone gifts this year, including two for academics-related programming:

Overall, there were 17 one-time gifts exceeding $1 million, including $8.3 million in combined contributions to the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Center, the Samuel J. Cadden Chapel and College of Business capital projects.

Sonoco, one of the largest global diversified packaging companies, announced the Sonoco FRESH (Food Research Excellence for Safety and Health) initiative to develop new technologies and new forms of packaging to optimize the fresh food lifecycle. Over five years, the company will contribute $1.725 million to establish the multidisciplinary research hub at Clemson and sponsor business-driven research projects totaling $1 million.

“This year’s historic fundraising results are a testament to the loyalty and dedication of the Clemson family and our university and volunteer leadership. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for these amazing results, the generosity of our donors and the difference this will make for our students,” said Brian O’Rourke, vice president for development and alumni relations.

“These gifts make it possible for Clemson to provide the type of student support, academic resources and facilities expected from one of the finest public universities in the country and I couldn’t be more thankful for the ongoing generosity of the Clemson family. We are working together to build Clemson, forever.”

Davis Babb, chief executive officer of IPTAY, added, “We are very appreciative of the more than 17,000 IPTAY donors who have given an all-time high of $64.9 million over the past year to support athletic scholarships, academic support services and facility initiatives. This total is a combination of gifts to our annual fund, major gifts and planned giving efforts that enable us to provide crucial support to our nearly 500 student athletes.”

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