Austin Peay State University reached a fundraising total of $11.4 million in gifts and pledges for 2020.
The number illustrates an increase of nearly 10% in the average annual fundraising amount compared to last year. The total surpasses the more than $10 million raised in 2019, making it the third consecutive year that Austin Peay set a record for the second-highest giving year in university history.
“We are very excited about this achievement and what it means for the future of Austin Peay,” said Kris Phillips, assistant vice president for university advancement. “We are grateful to the alumni and friends who have made this possible.”
This year, Austin Peay shifted its focus from Govs Give, the annual online giving campaign benefiting specific university areas, to Govs Give Back, an initiative that provides financial assistance for students, faculty and staff who have suffered severe economic, medical or similar hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic and in other times of crisis. To date, more than 100 donors have contributed nearly $70,000 to the initiative. That funding has covered expenses related to the pandemic, including rent, electric bills, childcare, health care and access to technology.
“It is inspiring to see the way that our Gov family has responded to this urgent need,” said retired Lt. Gen. Ronald Bailey, Austin Peay vice president for external affairs. “We are lucky to be a part of a community that cares for and supports each other during challenging times.”
Throughout the year, more than $4.9 million in endowment funding was committed, and 25 new endowments were established. Many people and organizations also gave to unique initiatives that will elevate the Austin Peay experience for years to come. One of those people was alumna Wilma Newton from the class of 1973. In 2020, she expanded her significant commitment to her alma mater by making a generous contribution to the president’s initiatives fund of excellence.
Following president Alisa White’s announcement that she will leave Austin Peay after the commencement ceremonies in August to serve as president of Sam Houston State University, more donors joined Newton in giving to the fund, which will be renamed the Dr. Alisa White and Elliott Herzlich President’s Innovation Fund of Excellence. The new name will honor White and Herzlich for their service to the campus community during their six years at Austin Peay. The fund will continue their legacy by ensuring that future presidents have the ability to support programs that significantly impact the university, Clarksville and the Middle Tennessee area.
To establish an endowment or support other fundraising initiatives, contact the office of university advancement at 931-221-7127.