BGSU sets new fundraising records with its Changing Lives for the World Campaign

Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.(WTVG)
Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 11:55 AM EST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - Bowling Green State University announced a $255 million total from its Changing Lives for the World Campaign, the largest comprehensive fundraising endeavor in university history.

The fundraising campaign will benefit four priorities: scholarships, fellowships, and student support; colleges, units, and programs; campus master plan and facilities; and professorships, chairs, and faculty support. Of the $255 million total, $101.7 million was raised for scholarships and student aid.

The university had set a $200 million goal in 2014, according to BGSU Board of Trustees Chair Betty Montgomery. University president Rodney K. Rogers said the campaign raised an all-time record amount in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These included transformational eight-figure gifts that impacted priorities such as scholarships and endowing our first academic college, to thousands of gifts at all dollar levels, making a clear statement from our alumni and donors that they believe in the future of BGSU, a public university for the public good,” Rogers said.

Changing Lives for the World fundraising campaign conclusion

More than six years ago, Bowling Green State University embarked on its largest comprehensive fundraising endeavor in its history by launching the Changing Lives for the World Campaign. The goal was to raise $200 million to serve as a lasting promise for the future of BGSU and its commitment to create public good. Join us for the live announcement of the total raised and how it will move the University forward.

Posted by Bowling Green State University on Thursday, March 4, 2021

The campaign secured a combination of non-endowed funds for current use, endowed funds for use in perpetuity, and planned gift commitments to benefit BGSU in the future.

More than 38,000 donors made a combined total of 160,722 gifts to advance the University during the campaign, demonstrating their commitment to BGSU’s students and academic future. The number of gifts received during the Changing Lives Campaign was more than double the number in the University’s first comprehensive campaign, Building Dreams, which concluded in December 2008 having secured $146.5 million in commitments.

More than $166 million of the campaign total came from BGSU alumni; $44.7 million from friends, faculty, and staff of the University; $36.7 million from corporations and foundations; and $7.6 million from other organizations.

This success was amplified by four significant eight-figure contributions from: alumni Bob and Ellen Thompson to provide scholarships for students from working families, the military, and those pursuing leadership development, the largest gift from an individual or couple in BGSU history; the late Bill Frack to endow the men’s basketball program, the largest gift to BGSU Athletics; Al and Carol Schmidthorst to endow and name the Schmidthorst College of Business, the first named college and the largest gift to an academic area in BGSU history; and Cedar Fair to establish a new academic program in resort and attraction management, the largest gift to BGSU from a corporation.

Thousands of alumni and constituents responded enthusiastically to BGSU One Day, the University’s annual day of giving, which has raised $2.5 million in its first four years. A focused effort to assist students adversely affected by the pandemic secured an additional $379,000 in 2020 for the Student Emergency Fund.

“The Changing Lives for the World Campaign positions BGSU for its next chapter,” said Rogers, “one that will generate opportunities to create public good and move the University forward.”

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