UF donors give record $215 million in fiscal year 2013-14

August 28, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Donors responding to the University of Florida’s Preeminence initiative gave a record $215.3 million during the fiscal year that ended June 30, boosting UF’s ability to address society’s most pressing concerns and supporting the university’s highest priorities.

The milestone also marked the second consecutive year cash and cash-equivalent donations to the university topped $210 million, surpassing last year’s then-record $211 million. That year, only 12 other public institutions in the Association of American Universities received more private support, according to the Council for Aid to Education, or CAE.

UF last summer launched Preeminence, an initiative to raise $800 million in three years to strengthen UF’s place among the best public research universities. The push parallels UF’s Preeminence Plan, under which the university is using $20 million a year in state money for five years to hire up to 100 faculty members in designated priority areas such as big data, biodiversity and cybersecurity.

When factoring in an additional $71 million in deferred gifts and pledges, total gift commitments reached $285.9 million, also setting a new record for one year. Fiscal year 2013-14 comparisons for other universities will be available this winter when the Voluntary Support of Education report, compiled by CAE, is released.

“Clearly, our alumni and friends believe deeply in the University of Florida and have embraced our shared aspiration of preeminence and rising among the nation’s top public universities,” UF President Bernie Machen said. “With such strong advocacy and support, and drawing on the enthusiasm and expertise throughout the Gator Nation, we’re well on our way to the next level.”

Individuals made 128,000 donations during the fiscal year — 6,000 more than the previous year — to support UF’s efforts in areas such as health care, sustainable energy alternatives, dwindling freshwater supplies, crop production and education.

“People in every corner of the world, especially in Florida, experience the Gator good that comes from UF every day, whether through our research, service to families and communities, or our alumni who are making their own marks in their professions and neighborhoods,” said UF Foundation Chairman Scott Hawkins.

The university hit another milestone in fiscal year 2013-14, growing its UF Alumni Association membership to more than 50,000 -- the largest number of members since the association started its dues-paying program in 1992. That places UF’s alumni association among the top 10 largest of all U.S. universities.

“Our alumni and friends have set a new gold standard. Their record giving and record participation illustrates the love Gators have for the University of Florida and their belief that, together, anything is possible,” said Tom Mitchell, UF’s vice president for development and alumni affairs.