“We are having our best fundraising year ever,” said Jamie Akin, ASU executive director of development and alumni relations.
This past May, Akin announced the single largest donation in ASU history, $4.5 million from an anonymous donor to fund construction of a facility for a proposed civil engineering degree program.
Donors are also largely responsible for ASU’s historic move to play Rams home football games on campus. Dr. Robert and Jean Ann LeGrand contributed $1.4 million to renovate the LeGrand Sports Complex into what is now called LeGrand Stadium at 1st Community Credit Union Field. In addition to 1st Community, the San Angelo Health Foundation, Larry C. Clark and an anonymous donor provided funds for installation of artificial turf at the new facility. Texas Bank also donated $50,000 for a new scoreboard.
Other major donations this fiscal year, which ended Aug. 31, include Richard and B.J. Mayer contributing $600,000 to install artificial turf at the new Mayer Softball Field and a host of donors, led by the Mayer-Rousselot family, contributing toward construction of the Mayer-Rousselot Agricultural Education Training Center.
“ASU has truly been blessed this year with major donations for our athletic facilities, a new agriculture training center and now a new engineering facility,” said ASU President Brian J. May. “These donors are an inspiration to the entire Angelo State community.”
This year’s fundraising pace is particularly gratifying as it comes so soon after the successful capital campaign. The goal for the “Campaign for Angelo State University” launched in 2010 was set at $25 million by the Texas Tech University System, part of the TTUS overall campaign to raise $1 billion. The ASU goal was reset to $35 million when the initial goal was reached more than a year early. The campaign, which closed in June of 2013, ended up raising $35,547,802 to support ASU students, faculty, programs and facilities. That campaign included ASU’s previous single-year record for fundraising, $7.7 million in 2011.
The Office of Development and Alumni Relations leads ASU fundraising efforts, which are more crucial than ever in an era of shrinking state support and rising costs.
“While we’ve had great success this year, there are many opportunities to provide financial support to our faculty, academic and athletic programs, and to students through scholarships.”
“While we’ve had great success this year,” Akin said, “there are many opportunities to provide financial support to our faculty, academic and athletic programs, and to students through scholarships.”
Donors have the opportunity to choose how they want their gift to be designated through the ASU Foundation, a public nonprofit organization established to provide financial assistance to ASU, primarily from gifts and earnings on endowed funds. The foundation oversees investment and distribution of all its funds in accordance with donors’ wishes.
“When you establish an endowment fund, you create a permanent legacy of support for Angelo State,” said Sande Harrison, foundation president.
ASU supporters also have three membership opportunities through which to donate to the university: the President’s Circle, Ram Club and the ASU Alumni Association.
The President’s Circle includes alumni, faculty, staff, community/business leaders and friends of ASU who contribute $1,000 or more annually to provide the university with the discretionary funds critical to reacting immediately to challenges and opportunities while providing an excellent education to ASU students.
Ram Club is the only organization dedicated solely to the purpose of fundraising for ASU athletics.
“Angelo State athletic students are some of the strongest academic students attending our university,” said Ram Club President Troyce Wilcox. “Education opens up a world of opportunities for these students, but it also enables them to become productive citizens.”
The ASU Alumni Association offers graduates of the university the opportunity to support their alma mater financially and by participating in various events, such as Ram Jam and Homecoming. Students, faculty and staff are also encouraged to join.
For Akin, whether it is $25 to join the Alumni Association or a million to establish an endowed chair, all contributions are welcome. Fundraising for the civil engineering program, for one example, is off to a grand start, but “there are still opportunities for donors to invest in the project.”