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More than 50,000 donors contributed to record sum in 2017-2018

Rutgers raised $223.4 million in 2017-2018 – the highest amount in the university’s history, Rutgers University Foundation announced today.

Contributions from alumni and friends of Rutgers surpassed last year’s record of $209.1 million by 6.8 percent. Rutgers set an additional fundraising record this year: for the first time in its history, more than 50,000 donors made or pledged gifts to the university.

“This record year of engagement provides extraordinary support for our university’s goals,” said Rutgers President Robert Barchi. “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.”  

The funds raised will go toward student scholarships, innovative research, experiential learning opportunities, new programs and facilities for improving health and wellness in New Jersey and affordable education for lifelong learners across the state. The gifts support the university’s strategic plan, which sets a framework for building faculty excellence, transforming the student experience and enhancing Rutgers’ public prominence.

“Gifts of all sizes help the university transform lives through research, education and service,” said Rutgers University Foundation President Nevin E. Kessler. “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.”

Highlights from the past year include:

  • Gary RC’74 and Barbara W. Rodkin DC’76 pledged $15 million, the largest gift in Rutgers Athletics history, for the Gary and Barbara Rodkin Center for Academic Success. The center, to be located on the Busch campus, will be home to all academic support services for all Rutgers student-athletes. It will also house the lacrosse and soccer training facilities. 
  • In recognition of Rutgers’ transformative role in his life, chair of the university’s Board of Governors Sandy Stewart CCAS’81, GSC’87 made a $2.5 million bequest intention to create the Sandy J. Stewart Endowed Equipment and Instruments Fund at Rutgers University–Camden. This gift will provide Rutgers-Camden students and faculty with cutting-edge instrumentation often found in core laboratories, such as mass spectrometers, flow cytometers and gene sequencers.
  • Founded by Rutgers graduate Gary M. Cohen RC’80, RBS’83 and supported by his intent to contribute $1 million, the Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation will embed interdisciplinary coursework into the Rutgers Business School curriculum, preparing students to drive successful business results in sustainable organizations that are financially, environmentally and socially responsible.
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded a $3 million, three-year grant to the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health (IFNH) to launch the New Jersey Healthy Kids Initiative. The initiative is a partnership between IFNH and the Child Health Institute of New Jersey that will focus on improving the health of New Jersey children.
  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has pledged $1.5 million to integrate humanities courses into the New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons program, which helps those who are incarcerated or newly released to work toward earning college degrees. 
  • The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum received a pledge of $10 million from the Avenir Foundation. The pledge will benefit the Avenir Endowment Fund to enhance and promote the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union. Nancy Ruyle Dodge previously pledged her personal collection of more than 17,300 artworks in all media, with an estimated value of more than $34 million, to the museum. These objects join the now-legendary body of 4,000 Soviet nonconformist works that Dodge and her late husband, Norton Dodge, donated to the Zimmerli in 1991. Supported by the $10 million endowment from the Avenir Foundation, this in-kind bequest intention is the largest single gift ever made to Rutgers.
  • The Stavros Niarchos Foundation awarded Rutgers a landmark grant of $27.5 million to support a major initiative that aims to help revitalize one of Greece’s most critical industries – agriculture – by training and developing a new generation of farmers and inspiring agriculture and food entrepreneurs. Rutgers University-New Brunswick will lead the three-year project – Recharging the Youth: New Agriculture for a New Generation – through the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and in partnership with the Agricultural University of Athens and American Farm School.

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national research university and the state of New Jersey’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Established in 1766, the university is the eighth-oldest higher education institution in the United States. More than 69,000 students and 22,500 faculty and staff learn, work and serve the public at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Rutgers University-Newark, Rutgers University-Camden, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and at additional locations across New Jersey and around the world.