Elon University surpassed its largest-ever fundraising goal of $100 million this year despite the state’s economic troubles.
Leo Lambert, president of Elon, announced Friday during the university’s homecoming weekend that its Ever Elon campaign has raised more than $105 million since June of 2006. Elon will continue to include donations made before Dec. 31 in the campaign’s fundraising total.
The previous campaign lasted from 1994 to 2001 and raised $46.7 million, surpassing a goal of $40 million.
“I think the most remarkable thing about this campaign was that it happened during a time of great economic distress,” said Dan Anderson, director of university relations.
“People believe in the future of the university, and they feel it’s a good investment of their personal resources — to provide the financial support the university needs to thrive. I think in a lot of ways people were making investments in the future of young people.”
About $33 million of the donations will fund 204 new scholarships, Anderson said. Of Elon’s 5,225 undergraduate students, 73 percent receive some form of financial aid.
Instead of contributing the money to the school’s operating costs and lowering tuition rates for all students, Anderson said the funds will be targeted toward merit- and need-based scholarships.
Tuition and fees at Elon for the 2010-11 school year were $26,827, about a 4 percent increase in tuition from the previous year, compared to a 5.25 percent increase before that, Anderson said.
Jim Piatt, vice president for university advancement at Elon and head of the Ever Elon campaign, said one-on-one meetings with prospective donors tend to be the most effective method of fundraising.