UA has record donations

“Imagine $32 million. With that kind of money, you could buy 16 50-foot luxury yachts, 800 fully loaded 2008 Nissan 350Zs, 32,000 pairs of Jimmy Choos, 64,000 PS3s and 160,000,000 packets of Ramen noodles. Now imagine receiving all of this money in donations.”

Imagine $32 million.

With that kind of money, you could buy 16 50-foot luxury yachts, 800 fully loaded 2008 Nissan 350Zs, 32,000 pairs of Jimmy Choos, 64,000 PS3s and 160,000,000 packets of Ramen noodles.

Now imagine receiving all of this money in donations.

This is exactly what the University of Akron has accomplished this year.

On Sept. 17, the University of Akron broke its record for fundraising at more than $32.2 million in the 2006-2007 school year, a 28 percent increase from the previous school year.

This is an exceptional show of support for all of the outstanding people and programs here at the University of Akron, President Luis Proenza said in a press release.

Gary Taylor of InfoCision and Vivian Neal of the Knight Foundation are among the university’s largest donors, according to John LaGuardia, UA’s vice president for public affairs and development.

Donors have responded to the university’s importance to the region and the nation, he said. They have affirmed their concern for students…(and) are proud of the New Landscape for Learning and other initiatives the university has undertaken.

The previous record held by the University was $27.4 million, received in the 2000-2001 school year. John LaGuardia believes Sept. 11 to be a large factor in the decline in funds; people began to be more conservative with their money while the economy suffered.

Friends and alumni now have recovered from the challenges presented by 9/11, and are again in the financial position to be able to donate to the university, he said.

Another factor in the increased donations was the university’s plans for the new stadium. According to the University of Akron’s stadium Web site, approximately $21 million has already been received to complete this project.

Donors believe the university is an exciting place and that it is moving in the right direction, LaGuardia said. They want to be part of the excitement here.

The excitement, however, will not end with the stadium.

Donations have a broad impact throughout the university, said LaGuardia.

Students benefit from increased scholarship dollars that our donors provided for their use, LaGuardia said.

The new finance laboratory in the College of Business Administration, the addition to Guzzetta Hall for the dance program, the support of University Libraries for purchases of books and reference materials, and the construction of various gardens and post clocks throughout campus are also included in the list of services provided by the donors of the University of Akron.

The university’s many generous donors and benefactors have made this record fundraising year possible, Proenza said in a press release.

They have the profound thanks of our institution.