Here's an encouraging success story: Northern Kentucky University expects to top its $40 million fund-raising goal a year ahead of schedule. Officials said last week the campaign has raised nearly $36 million in the first four years of a drive planned to last six years.
The donors include corporations, businesses, foundations, individuals and others. The money supports needs tied to NKU's rapid growth and improvement plans and is vital considering only about one-third of NKU's funding next year will come from the state of Kentucky. This year, NKU received $4,333 per full-time student in state funding, compared to the median allocation for other state-funded universities at $5,836.
This fund-raising campaign is remarkable, considering that in 1999, NKU's annual giving was less than $2 million. In fiscal year 2000, giving rose to $6.5 million and now is up to $10 million annually.
The donations to NKU are due in large part to the good relationship between the university and the local communities it serves, says vice president Deborah Read. Indeed, NKU leaders have carefully assessed the needs of this whole region and tailored NKU's priorities to serve them.
In recent years under President James Votruba's leadership, NKU has grown to 14,000 students. Enrollment is expected to increase another 3 to 4 percent this fall.
Alumni now number more than 33,000. About 25 percent of NKU students come from the Ohio side of the river. Nearly 90 percent of NKU graduates stay in this region, officials say. Clearly, these donations are wise investments in Greater Cincinnati's future.
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