18:00 PM

Record number of Ohio State donors give $365 million in 2012

Last two years strongest on record for private support

A record 211,000 alumni and friends gave nearly $365 million to The Ohio State University through June 30, 2012, making the last two years of fundraising at Ohio State the most successful in the university's history.

"In order to fulfill our historic mission of teaching and learning, our university must build a firm financial foundation," said Ohio State President Dr. E. Gordon Gee. "Quite simply, private support has become increasingly critical to our ability to provide accessible and exceptional education to the young people of our state and beyond."

Of the $365 million raised last year, donors gave $124 million to support research, $36 million for new buildings and renovations, and $45 million for student financial aid and scholarship support. Granville philanthropists Louella H. and J. Gilbert Reese led the scholarship charge by creating the Reese Challenge to support students attending Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark. The Reese Challenge matched individual donations up to $10 million. With additional contributions of $10.8 million, total fundraising for the challenge reached nearly $21 million.

"While we still have a great deal of work to do to support our vision, we are thrilled with this kind of momentum as we work toward our $2.5 billion campaign goal," said Jeff Kaplan, president of The Ohio State University Foundation, senior vice president and special assistant to the president. "Donor support is a testament to people's faith in Ohio State and we are deeply grateful for it."

This past year, approximately $60 million of giving to Ohio State came from alumni, an increase of 40 percent over 2011. In an effort to more closely engage with Ohio State's alumni base of nearly half a million graduates, The Ohio State University Alumni Association now provides free membership to all graduates of the university. All Ohio State graduates will now receive online library access, affinity discounts, and the use of the organization's Alumni Career Management program.

"I'm really excited about the opportunity to provide services and benefits to all Ohio State graduates," said Archie Griffin, Ohio State Alumni Association president and CEO. "Our university has the most passionate and committed alumni, and we welcome the opportunity to bring people closer to Ohio State and keep them connected with all of the amazing things happening on campus."

About Ohio State

Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 56,000 students enrolled at its Columbus campus, 14 colleges and 175 majors, the university offers its students exceptional breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.