UNC-Chapel Hill exceeds $500 million with best-year-ever fundraising performance

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UNC-Chapel Hill exceeds $500 million with best-year-ever fundraising performance


(Chapel Hill, N.C.— Aug. 24, 2017) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received $543.3 million in donor commitments in fiscal year 2017 (concluding June 30, 2017), marking Carolina’s third-straight fundraising record and first time topping $500 million. The total eclipsed fiscal year 2016’s previous record of $495 million by nearly $50 million.


“A third consecutive record fundraising year tells a wonderful story about the Carolina community’s generosity and love for our students, faculty and staff,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “Our donors’ spirit of innovation and impact nourishes the Carolina powerhouse of research, entrepreneurship and public service that helps excellence take root and flourish. When our community works together big dreams are possible.”


Commitments in fiscal year 2017 included:


  • A $25 million gift of art and endowment funding from Sheldon and Leena Peck of Boston, Massachusetts, to support European and American art collections at the Ackland Art Museum;
  • An $18 million gift from the Shuford family of Hickory to support entrepreneurship in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences; and
  • A $4 million gift from Alice Lehman of Charlotte to support cellular immunotherapy research at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Donors also helped the University meet the “Give for Good: Scholarship Challenge,” by bringing in more than $40 million (and counting) to support need- and merit-based scholarships. Launched in fall 2016 by a $20 million gift from an anonymous donor, the challenge benefits Carolina Covenant and the Morehead-Cain Foundation. The Challenge continues through University Day (Oct. 12), which marks the anniversary of Carolina’s founding, and a final total will be announced at that time.


The best-year-ever performance resulted from the contributions of nearly 68,000 donors. Commitments from 15 donors of $5 million or more accounted for $198.2 million of the $543.3 million total.


“Our donors continue to be incredibly generous, and we are grateful for their support of Carolina’s faculty, students and research” said David Routh, vice chancellor for university development. “They provide a margin of excellence that makes us better in everything we do. The impact of their gifts will be felt across our campus, our state and around the world for many, many years.”


Carolina’s record fundraising year paves the way for the University’s comprehensive campaign, which kicks off in October.




About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 318,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 157 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.


Office of University Development contact: Kim Elenez, (919) 962-1628, kelenez@email.unc.edu

University Communications contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090, mc.vangraafeiland@unc.edu