Banner Year for BC Fundraising
Alumni and friends of Bluefield College are celebrating a banner year of giving as their contributions to the school hit the $3.3 million mark for the 2011-2012 fiscal year -- the highest gift total in BC history.
September 5, 2012
Ruth Blankenship, vice president for advancement.
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Total gifts to the college from alumni, parents, businesses, foundations, organizations and other friends totaled $3,346,346 at fiscal year-end, June 30, 2012. And, not only was the $3.3 million in giving an all-time high for the college, but also the first time in school history gifts have surpassed the $3 million mark in a fiscal year.
“This a feat in our challenging economic times thought by many colleges to be impossible,” said BC’s Ruth Blankenship, vice president for advancement, “but at Bluefield College we put our trust in God. The result: a 67 percent increase in giving over last year to support the BC Fund for Scholarships, capital initiatives, academic programs, athletics, and other key initiatives that further our mission.”
The $3.3 million for 2011-2012 surpassed the school’s previous giving record of $2.7 million set a decade ago in 2001-2002 and last year’s giving total of $2,008,678. Thirty-five percent (or $1,168,516) came from foundations, while 14 percent (or $469,789) came from alumni.
Among the major gifts offered to reach this year’s total: a $675,000 bequest from the estate of Edith H. Ingram and a $302,600 donation from Dr. and Mrs. John Sproles for the establishment of the Alvah Vernon and Bertha Mae Sproles Scholarship.
Additional gifts from a host of donors near year-end in response to a challenge from the Hugh I. Shott, Jr. Foundation helped push the college over the $3 million mark. The Shott Foundation pledged $1 million to BC’s proposed Campus and Community Wellness Center, if alumni and friends could match the million.
“Imagine the impact that all of these gifts, combined, have had on the men and women who pursue their education at Bluefield College,” said Blankenship, “and the added impact these investments will have on the world these students will soon lead.”
More than 1,500 donors contributed to Bluefield College in 2011-‘12, helping the school launch its first-ever RN-BSN degree completion program for nurses and revive its football program, which had been dormant for more than 70 years. Gifts during the year also helped BC add special education to its Teacher Education offerings and partner with Clinch Valley Medical Center to bring healthcare services to the rural community of Pocahontas, Virginia.
“This success and these blessings are the result of alumni and friends giving with a faithful heart to Bluefield College,” said Blankenship. “As a result, we will continue to be a leader in preparing students for career success and a lifelong commitment to changing the world through learning, service and faith.”
In addition, through gifts from donors, like the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, the college completed quarter-million-dollar renovations to its Student Activities Center and dining hall and raised nearly a half-million dollars of the $4 million needed to begin phase one construction of the Campus and Community Wellness Center. The school also increased scholarship aid for students, thanks in part to gifts from the Keesee Foundation and the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation.
“Like all private colleges, Bluefield College continues to face the challenge of maintaining excellence in the face of an uncertain national economy,” added Blankenship, “and the financial pressure on students and their families will likely not diminish in the near future. Nevertheless, Bluefield College is well positioned to meet these challenges, thanks to our strong donor support. We are grateful for our supporters, and we humbly ask that they continue to put their faith in Bluefield College in 2012-2013.”