For Immediate Release
Date: Feb. 8, 2021
Contact: Thomas Schaeffer, BU Foundation
BU Alumni and Donors Step Up to Show Support for Students During Challenging Year
Bloomsburg, PA – The numbers are in, and the results show that Bloomsburg University alumni and donors at all levels have come together to provide support for BU students when they needed it most.
Despite many pandemic-related fundraising challenges, BU alumni and donors answered the call to assist students in their time of need. The donors' response helped create opportunities and alleviate financial stress for students to the tune of a 58% increase in giving from 2019, a $2 million+ increase to BU’s endowment growing to more than $60 million, the creation of 32 new scholarships, and a nearly 70% increase in donor support on Giving Tuesday.
“2020 was certainly a challenging year for us all, but the commitment of our alumni and donors in supporting our students exemplifies the Husky spirit of resilience and togetherness and has truly been an inspiration,” said BU President Bashar W. Hanna. “We are fortunate to have such a dedicated community, and I am forever grateful for their commitment to our students and their success in especially challenging times.”
During a tumultuous year filled with unprecedented academic and logistical challenges, many students also faced financial crisis due to job loss and other circumstances. In addition to regular fundraising efforts, these challenges sparked the Strengthen the Pack Campaign for emergency student aid, which raised more than $105,000 from 241 donors. The fund helped BU administrators deploy resources to students facing urgent short-term needs like computer and internet access, temporary housing needs, tuition assistance, and food insecurities.
"While I'm typically in awe of the support and generosity of our alumni and friends, this past year has been extraordinary," said BU Vice President for Advancement Erik Evans. “What was especially encouraging was more than 75% of the gifts we received were $250 or less. This shows that donors at all levels are giving what they can to support our students, and they know that every gift counts. When everyone comes together to give, it makes all the difference."
Annual gifts to the Bloom on Fund, emergency aid, and scholarships to help recruit and retain students made for a promising year of support, but the generosity didn't stop there. BU donors also bestowed several transformational gifts, which are equally vital to the advancement of the University, including a $10 million gift from Steph Pettit '89 to support student-athletes, a $1.5 million gift from Craig A. Diehl Esq. '82 to establish a center for law school preparation and $500K gift from Mike Boguski to support Professional Experience Grants (PEGs).
Finally, in addition to immediate-use funds provided, BU donors also stepped up to show their commitment to future Huskies by pledging more than $6 million in gifts through estate intentions, an increase of $2.2 million in the previous year.
To learn more about how donor support impacted the BU community during 2020, visit giving.bloomu.edu/Impact, or to make a gift go to giving.bloomu,edu/GiveNow.