Bellarmine University’s fundraising program, which supports student scholarships and enhances the university’s academic programs and facilities, was recently recognized for excellence by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Bellarmine’s Development and Alumni Relations program received an “overall performance” award, recognizing “institutions that show solid program growth, breadth in the base of support and other indications of a mature, well-maintained development program,” said Brett Chambers, vice president of volunteer relations for the organization.
The national award recognizes the strong support Bellarmine receives from the university’s alumni, according to Chambers. Last year, nearly 18 percent of the university’s living alumni supported Bellarmine through annual giving, major gifts or estate planning. This places Bellarmine third in alumni giving rates among the 127 southern regional universities ranked in U.S. News & World Report's review of the best U.S. colleges for 2016.
Last year, Bellarmine’s alumni and other donors gave 18 percent more cash gifts than they did in the previous year, supporting initiatives such as a student aid fund, endowed scholarships and academic programs.
Donors also gave more than $9 million during that period to the university’s capital campaign that includes Centro, a $25 million, three-story building now under construction in front of Horrigan Hall. Centro is one of the most significant capital projects in Bellarmine’s history.
“This is welcome recognition of our dynamic and talented fundraising team, but more significantly, it is affirmation of our student-centered approach to higher education,” said Dr. Joseph J. McGowan, Bellarmine’s president. “Our trustees are great stewards of the funds that our alumni and supporters so generously bestow upon us, ensuring those resources are spent in ways that focus on student success. Our level of financial support from alumni surpasses so many of our peer institutions because our graduates understand the benefits they found in small class sizes, excellent learning facilities and personal attention from our faculty.”