Report from the Vice President for DevelopmentReport from the Vice President for Development

Jerry May Vice President for Development

As we close this fiscal year, we begin the final months of The Michigan Difference campaign that will end on December 31, 2008. It has been a spectacular fundraising year in which President Coleman created another Donor Challenge, this one for graduate and professional students, and we successfully ended her Donor Challenge for Need-Based Undergraduate Support. These initiatives gave our donors opportunities to enlarge their gifts, resulting in more funds being available for our students now and in the future, since both challenges involved the endowment for at least part of the funds. The results were impressive.

This year more than 120,000 donors—including individuals, associations, corporations, and foundations—made cash gifts, pledge payments, and realized bequests totaling $342 million, surpassing last year’s gifts by 14 percent. This figure does not include new pledges or bequest intentions. The President’s Undergraduate Donor Challenge contributed $12 million in pledge payments. This amount will be matched dollar for dollar by the challenge, providing our undergraduates with $24 million in support.

The President’s Graduate and Professional Student Donor Challenge, which continues until December 31, 2008, or until matching funds run out, contributed $20.5 million this fiscal year. These funds will generate a match of $10.25 million, $1 dollar for every $2 from a gift, for a total of $30.75 million for graduate and professional students.

While many individual donors took advantage of the president’s challenges to increase their gifts, the University of Michigan Alumni Association Clubs looked on this as an excellent opportunity. Alumni Association Clubs have often raised funds for scholarships for local students. The undergraduate challenge gave them further incentive. The results were spectacular. This fiscal year the Grand Rapids Club gave $450,000, the Chicago Club $86,000, the Atlanta Club $25,000, and the Golden Gate, Orange County, and New York Clubs each gave more than $25,000.

We are excited to be able to put these funds to use immediately—helping undergraduates from all over the country afford a Michigan education.

Donors made gifts of $57 million toward the 22 Michigan Difference campaign construction projects. I am pleased to report that 16 of these buildings are fully funded and 13 have already been completed and are serving our students, faculty, and the community. Two opened this fiscal year.

The Robert H. Lurie Nanofabrication Facility is expected to change the high-tech landscape. Small and large companies had been using this facility, before its expansion, for research and development, contributing an estimated $500 million to the state’s economy in terms of companies and jobs created from the research. The 57,000 square feet of added space and clean room for microsystems and nanotechnology is expected to increase that dollar figure significantly.

This year alone, 38 percent of the lab users were from outside the University, including 20 companies and 13 higher education institutions, such as Princeton, Cornell, The Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

More than a dozen companies have been spun out of research performed in these labs during the last decade. Many of the created jobs remain in Michigan.

The Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex and the Ray Fisher Stadium opened this spring, providing our student-athletes with a superb facility for practices and games, and creating a wonderful game day experience for our fans.

During the campaign, the Law School has reevaluated its plans for a building project and the addition of a Law School commons between Hutchins Hall and the Legal Research Building. Donors have stepped forward to support the plan and have already given $31 million toward the fundraising goal of $70 million. The campaign for this project will extend beyond the December 31, 2008, closing date for The Michigan Difference campaign. This project is pivotal to our ability to attract great students and faculty in the future.

Donors contributed $112 million to our endowment through the challenges, and through gifts for professorships, programs, and research. This is almost twice the $62 million donors gave for endowed funds in 1999.

The U-M endowment is made up of 6,500 separate funds, most of which were created by donors who stipulated what they could be used for, such as professorships, financial aid, or research. The University entered into a legal contract with these donors to spend the money exactly as they agreed, and to invest the money so it would be available in perpetuity.

Donors give to the endowment because they trust that the University, which is coming up on its 200th anniversary, will be here long into the future. And they want their gifts to continue making a difference in perpetuity.

A young doctor, Elizabeth Bates, who practiced medicine in New York state in 1898 had never visited the University of Michigan, but left the Medical School more than $100,000 in her will to create a professorship in diseases of women and children because the U-M admitted women to its Medical School. She created the first endowment for a named professorship at the University of Michigan. This was a colossal sum at a time when tuition was $12.50 a semester. Timothy R. B. Johnson, MD, is the seventh Bates Professor. Some of his predecessors served for more than 30 years. Dr. Johnson not only teaches U-M medical students—he is active in international teaching and training, particularly in Ghana, and is an honorary fellow of the West African College of Surgeons. A young woman from New York state who lived more than 100 years ago is thus affecting the training of U-M medical students and the health of the women and children in Ghana. Such is the power of endowments.

What difference does philanthropy make in the life of the University of Michigan?
All the difference.

Jerry May signature

Jerry A. May
Vice President for Development

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