Best. Year. Ever! — Emporia State Foundation sets new fund-raising record

July 25, 2013

Laurie Pitman, Dr. Brent Thomas, Dr. Matt Seimears and Melanie Willingham got some practice ringing a smaller version of Silent Joe in preparation for Thursday's announcement of a record-breaking fundraising year at the Emporia State University Foundation. If anyone needed proof that transformational things are happening at Emporia State University, news from the Emporia State Foundation should provide solid evidence.

The university is marking a banner year in the fund-raising arena, posting $9.4 million in outright philanthropic gifts, pledges and planned gifts in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013.

It is the most money raised in a single fiscal year since the organization was formed in 1952. New cash gifts and cash pledges of $5,967,794 coupled with $3,422,500 in planned gifts create the record-breaking total during a year of celebration for Emporia State, which is marking its 150th anniversary in 2013.

“We are so grateful for and humbled by the success we’ve achieved in connecting with alumni, friends, parents, faculty, students and corporate partners this past year,” said DenaSue Potestio, Foundation President/CEO.

“We've all stretched and succeeded during the past few months,” noted Lana Oleen, chair of the Foundation's board of trustees. “I sincerely appreciate not only the efforts of the Foundation staff, but also the gifts that 5,950 individuals, families, groups and corporations have made to our Now & Forever campaign this year.”

Continuing a new tradition on Thursday, July 25, students rang “Silent Joe” to celebrate the record-breaking year of philanthropy for Emporia State. Rung in the past after the football team scored a victory, the bell in the tower at the southeast corner of Welch Stadium is becoming an audible icon for success as part of “Now & Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University.”

Emporia State introduced Now & Forever in February during the university’s Sesquicentennial Gala. The largest, most comprehensive effort of its type in the University’s history, the campaign has topped the $13 million mark in gifts and pledges as it aims toward a working goal of $45 million over the next five to seven years.

“I’m especially excited about the solid, affirming voice our campus speaks with in supporting this campaign,” said Potestio, noting that 100 percent of the university’s Executive Cabinet, Administrative Council and Foundation/Alumni staff has made gifts to the Now & Forever campaign during the past fiscal year.

“We’re building the Hornet Nation a brick at a time,” said Potestio, also giving kudos to Emporia State’s faculty and staff for their 72 percent participation in this spring’s Campus Campaign segment of Now & Forever.

“This is about creating a culture of success where people go the extra mile each and every day,” said Dr. Michael D. Shonrock, Emporia State’s president. “Each gift helps us grow the University by building new programs and scholarship opportunities, and I’m honored to thank everyone who made a gift to Emporia State this past year.”

Now & Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University is a five- to seven-year effort with a working goal of $45 million. The campaign supports student scholarships, academic departments and initiatives that advance Emporia State’s mission to recruit students, teach and retain them, encourage them to graduate with lower levels of student debt, and ultimately put them on a path to a solid career.

For more information about opportunities to give to the Now & Forever campaign, contact DenaSue Potestio at 620-341-5440.

Maybe you've heard Silent Joe ring after a Hornet football win. But have you ever seen the bell making all the noise? Three Now & Forever Campus Campaign Champions climbed a ladder 20 feet up a tower to not only see the bell, but also to ring it in celebration of another campaign milestone.

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