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Fordham Celebrates Record-Breaking Fundraising Year


Fordham has set a new record for total gifts and pledges recorded in a fiscal year, making the FY 2017 the most successful year of fundraising in the University’s history.

The University has raised $75.9 million in funds—7 percent more than the previous record set eight years ago, and $30 million more than the amount raised in 2016.

“We are deeply grateful to the members of the Fordham family who have given, and given so generously,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “Their support—financial and otherwise—speaks to the importance of Fordham’s sacred mission, and to the enduring value of a Fordham education. Though we can number the gifts, their impact on a new generation of Fordham students is beyond price.”

Making a Fordham Education Accessible

Among the major gifts that helped to drive the University fundraising achievement was a $10.5 million gift to support science education from the estate of the late Stephen (Steve) Bepler, FCRH ’64, and a $20 million gift to the University from Maurice J. (Mo) Cunniffe, FCRH ’54, and Carolyn Dursi Cunniffe, Ph.D., GSAS ’71. The Cunniffes made the second-largest gift in Fordham’s history when they established the Maurice and Carolyn Cunniffe Presidential Scholars Program to support the studies of high-performing students.

“Our generous donors are people who are passionate about Fordham and are motivated to invest in our mission,” said Roger A. Milici Jr., vice president of development and university relations. “These gifts are meant to ensure that a Fordham education is within reach for first generation students and students of all economic backgrounds.”

As the University has prioritized making a Fordham education accessible for students of every class, race, and faith, it is grateful that $48 million of the $75.9 million raised in FY 2017 was allocated by donors to support financial aid. This brings the Faith & Hope | The Campaign for Financial Aid, which was announced during Fordham’s 175th anniversary, to $107 million.

Milici said the University has made fundraising strides across the board that have contributed to its unprecedented fundraising year.

“We have an increasingly talented and driven advancement team—staff and volunteers—working together to create these types of successes,” he said.

Law and Cybersecurity

Among the University wide successes was the Fordham Law School’s fundraising, which topped its FY 2017 goal of $12.5 million, driving its Faith & Hope | The Campaign for Financial Aid total to $21.4 million. Fordham’s Center on National Security also received a $1.7 million gift from Trustee Fellow Vincent J. Viola and the Viola Family Foundation. That gift will support the work of the center’s director, Karen J. Greenberg, Ph.D., and other research staff, as well as the Terrorism Trials Database, a data and analysis project focused on terrorism prosecutions.

This important gift comes as Fordham was recently designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Another fundraising advance included the Fordham Fund, which raised $5.1 million and set a new record for unrestricted and school annual funds. What’s more, the 16th Annual Fordham Founder’s Award Dinner, raised $2.4 million—the second largest amount in the dinner’s history.

Support for Capital Projects

With the added emphasis of raising funds to support two important capital projects that will give the University a competitive edge in student-athlete recruitment and improve the Rose Hill Gym fan experience—namely the McLaughlin Family Basketball Court at the Rose Hill campus, and the new football office projects—athletic fundraising had a 42 percent increase from FY 2016.

Fordham parents also played an integral part in helping the University reach its fundraising goals. Parent giving more than doubled, going from $1 million from 2,348 parents the last fiscal year to $2.7 million from 2,699 parents this year.

The spirit of giving was further exemplified in Fordham’s inaugural Giving Day, where the University exceeded its goal of 1,750 donors in 24 hours with gifts from 2,101 donors from across the United States and around the world.

“Fundamentally, Fordham alumni appreciate the rigorous Jesuit education and overall experience they had on campus, and if given the opportunity (and we do a good job of earning their trust), I believe alumni will invest in that promise so that others can have similar experiences and follow in that long maroon line,” said Milici.


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