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UGA breaks $100 million mark in private support

UGA has broken the $100 million mark for private ­giving for the first time, receiving a total of $108.3 million in gifts and new commitments for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The total is about a 12 percent increase over the previous year’s $96.9 million and marks the sixth consecutive year UGA has set a record for private giving. The figure almost exactly doubles private contributions of just five years ago, when the university received $54.4 million in private support.

Gift receipts last year came from 49,713 contributors. Twenty-two gifts were for $1 million or more, the largest number of ­million-­dollar-plus gifts ever. Giving through the annual fund program also set a new record of $8.6 million, up from $8.38 million the previous year.

“Breaking $100 million in donations is a landmark achievement and certainly a cause for celebration,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “We are deeply grateful to those whose generosity made this milestone possible, and we pledge to channel this support into even greater service and contributions to Georgia and its citizens.”

Of the $108.3 million total, $73.4 million will be used for instruction, service and research and outreach programs, up from $60.4 million the previous year. These gifts will help fund scholarships and fellowships, recruit and retain faculty, provide travel and research support for current faculty, and buy new class and lab equipment and library materials.

Last year’s giving helped boost total contributions to UGA’s Archway to Excellence campaign to $454 million and puts the campaign goal of $500 million within clear reach, said Steve Wrigley, senior vice president for external affairs.

“Enthusiasm for this campaign has been widespread and unwavering from the beginning, and it’s obvious we will move well beyond our goal in this fiscal year,” Wrigley said. “That’s a great tribute to a very dedicated and hard-working team of staff and volunteers. It is also a strong incentive to work even more diligently to increase private support for the university and its educational mission.”

Private giving to UGA has risen in all but two of the past 10 years and is now more than triple the $33.6 million received in fiscal year 1996, according to Robert Hawkins, associate vice president for development.

“Investing in UGA is a win-win for everyone, and the effects are far-reaching,” he said. “Though the past year was our strongest ever, our sights are now set higher. New opportunities for our faculty and students will not be inexpensive, and we will be seeking the levels of support necessary from all of the university’s constituencies.”

Gifts and pledges for athletic purposes totalled $34.9 million, of which $25.1 million was for seating priority.