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Campaign Gifts Exceed Appalachian Goal by 66 Percent

BOONE–Bolstered by two major gifts in the final days of the campaign, Appalachian State University ended its comprehensive “Campaign for the Second Century” Dec. 31 with private support for the university and its programs totaling $83.2 million.

Gifts from alumni, parents, corporations and foundations, and friends of the university exceeded the original $50-million campaign goal by more than 66 percent.

“Such overwhelming support for Appalachian and its mission underscores the important role of higher education in North Carolina,” said John A. Allison IV, chairman and CEO of BB&T, who headed the campaign from its inception in 1996. “It also affirms the efforts of many individuals working to take one of the top comprehensive universities in the country to an even higher level of service.”

Appalachian received approximately 35,000 gifts during the campaign including 110 gifts of $100,000, or more, and 20 gifts of $1 million or more. Deferred gifts, such as bequests and annuities, represented approximately one-third of the campaign total.

The campaign generated more than 350 new endowments to fund student scholarships and various university programs perpetually, including distinguished professorships in mathematics education, science education, ethics, business and computer science. Gifts to the campaign also have underwritten equipment, books and teaching materials, and other faculty resources not funded by the state.

“Virtually every facet of the university will benefit from the overwhelming generosity and support from many individuals and businesses,” said Chancellor Francis T. Borkowski.

“The value of such support from private sources is immeasurable as we strive to create the best possible learning environment for Appalachian students and insure access for all qualified students, especially during a period of shrinking public funding,” he said.

The public phase of the campaign began in October 1999 with a goal of $50 million. When the campaign surpassed that goal more than a year early, Appalachian’s Board of Trustees and the Appalachian State University Foundation Board extended the campaign by six months and raised the goal to $70 million. That target was surpassed last May with receipt of the largest private donation in the university’s history, a $10 million endowment gift to the Hayes School of Music by Mariam Cannon Hayes of Concord.

In the final days of the campaign, two major gift commitments pushed the campaign total above $80 million.

Hickory business leader Thomas W. Reese made an estate gift of $2.5 million, in addition to his earlier $500,000 cash commitment, to the Reese Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology Program, establishing a legacy equipment endowment and a programming endowment within the College of Fine and Applied Arts.

The second major gift was a $1 million commitment from BB&T, headquartered in Winston-Salem, supporting the William R. Holland Fellows Program in the Walker College of Business. This program supports the university’s ongoing international business initiative in China involving students from Fudan University and Appalachian.

Approximately one-third of Appalachian’s alumni contributed $27.3 million to the campaign, while Appalachian faculty and staff made gifts totaling more than $3 million.