HATTIESBURG — The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation reports it has set a new record for gifts and pledges received during a single fiscal year at $20,336,110. The record eclipses the previous mark of $13.9 million from fiscal 2006 by 43 percent and also represents an increase of 300 percent over the amount raised last year. More than 4,620 donors participated in the record-setting effort.
During the recently concluded fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012, university officials, USM Foundation staff members and volunteers worked to raise funds for a wide variety of areas including three of the university’s top fundraising initiatives — Building Better Business Campaign, College of Nursing Building Campaign and DuBard School 50th Anniversary Campaign.
Gifts to the foundation also helped establish 30 new endowments, award scholarships to more than 1,800 students and increase University employee giving to Southern Miss from 10 percent to 32 percent.
Significant gifts during the 2011-12 fiscal year included $6 million from Chuck and Rita Scianna to support a new building for the College of Business, $4 million from the Luckyday Foundation to aid in construction of a new residence hall for the Luckyday Citizen Scholars, and $4 million from the Asbury Foundation of Hattiesburg to launch the College of Nursing’s campaign for a new, state-of-the-art facility. Each of these gifts will result in the respective building bearing the name of the donor.
In May 2010, the University’s Executive Cabinet adopted a new initiative-based fundraising model for the institution. Moving away from the college-based structure, development officers were centralized to pursue private funding for the university’s top fundraising priorities as determined by the university’s leadership.