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A birds-eye view of guests at a luncheon in the Great Hall in Coffman Union.

About 270 students, donors, and University leaders and staff gathered Wednesday at Coffman Memorial Union to match students with donors and recognize the impact of scholarships.

U scholarship drive at $62 million

From eNews, March 24, 2005

The University of Minnesota's Promise of Tomorrow Scholarship Drive has raised $62 million for scholarships and fellowships through February, bringing the total to 41 percent of its goal of $150 million--reaching this goal would increase by 50 percent the number of students who receive privately funded scholarships. Fundraising for the drive, the largest scholarship drive in University of Minnesota history, began July 1, 2003.

"Scholarships remain my top fund-raising priority," says U President Bob Bruininks. "In line with our strategic planning efforts, the scholarship drive will help us maintain our commitment to access and affordability for students who want to succeed at the U. We will continue to keep the doors of opportunity open to students from all walks of life."

Yesterday (March 23), the University of Minnesota Foundation hosted a luncheon in Coffman Union for scholarship donors and the current recipients of the scholarships they have funded. Privately funded scholarships help students in multiple university programs, compared with scholarships designated for a particular department or college. University-wide scholarships support more than 1,000 students a year.

Many donors have been motivated to give to scholarships and fellowships by special matching opportunities created by the University. One such opportunity is the President's Scholarship Match, which doubles the impact of endowed scholarship gifts of $25,000 or more. So far, 171 new scholarship gifts have been approved for the match. These gifts brought in $21 million, which will generate a payout of more than $1 million every year.

"The scholarship drive and the President's Scholarship Match have helped make the past two years some of our strongest for scholarship giving," said Gerald Fischer, president and CEO of the University of Minnesota Foundation, which raises and manages gifts for the University. "We are grateful to the alumni and friends who understand the need for scholarships and the difference their gifts can make in the lives of students. Even smaller gifts make a difference, especially when people come together to make a combined endowment gift that qualifies for the matching program, and there have been many of those [combined gifts]."

The Promise of Tomorrow Scholarship Drive also includes $9 million in gifts for fellowship support. New endowed fellowships are eligible for matching through the 21st Century Graduate Fellowship Endowment, which was created in April 2000.

In February this year, Bruininks announced a new program to maintain the U's affordability for all students. The Founders Opportunity Scholarship complements other financial aid programs by helping to close the gap in expenses for students whose costs are not being met through these other grants and scholarships.

For more information on the Promise of Tomorrow Scholarship Drive, see

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