June 18, 2019 | 65° F

Rutgers Records Record Raising: University receives highest donations

Photo by Rutgers.edu |

Rutgers set a new fundraising record last year with $223.4 million raised in school donations — topping the previous record of $209.1 million by 6.8 percent.

Rutgers surpassed two of its own fundraising records during the 2017-2018 school year, according to the My Central Jersey website. In addition to raising the most donations in the school’s history — $223.4 million — more than 50,000 donors pledged gifts to the University, also setting the bar as the highest number of donors in one year. 

The Rutgers University Foundation announced Wednesday that this new record soared over the previous one — set at $209.1 million — by 6.8 percent. 

“This record year of engagement provides extraordinary support for our university’s goals,” University President Robert L. Barchi said. “The great generosity of our growing number of donors means that Rutgers can continue to thrive as the world-class university that our students, our faculty and the people of New Jersey deserve.” 

These funds will be distributed to a diverse range of areas in the University, according to myCentralJersey. This includes student scholarships, cutting-edge research, new programs and facilities and an overall improvement in the wellness and affordable education of thousands of New Jersey students. The gifts will allow the University to enhance its global prestige by facilitating Rutgers’ strategic plan and transforming the student experience, the article stated.

One of the gifts donated this past year includes a pledge of $15 million by alum Gary and Barbara W. Rodkin given to the Rutgers Athletic Department — the largest gift the department has ever received. The funds will go toward building the Gary and Barbara W. Rodkin Center for Academic Success, which will be located on the Busch campus and will serve to provide academic support all student athletes. It will also be home to the new lacrosse and soccer training facilities. 

Other gifts include a $1 million contribution by alum Gary M. Cohen, given to the Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation for the purpose of integrating interdisciplinary coursework into the Rutgers Business School curriculum to ensure students understand the importance of businesses that are financially, environmentally and socially responsible, the article stated. 

The New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health — located on the Cook campus — received a $3 million award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to launch the New Jersey Healthy Kids Initiative that will aim to improve the health of the state’s youth.

The New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons program and the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum were some of the other Rutgers sectors gifted with donations this past year. 

“Gifts of all sizes help the university transform lives through research, education and service,” Rutgers University Foundation President Nevin E. Kessler said in the My Central Jersey article. “Every year, our alumni and friends demonstrate tremendous loyalty and generosity. This is a potent combination. It helps drive our success as a premier public university and allows us to enhance our standard of excellence across disciplines. Our donors have helped us achieve remarkable results in recent years, and we are very grateful for their support.”

Erica D'Costa

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