June 23, 2010; Source: Knoxville News Sentinel | The University of Tennessee finds itself in the enviable position of informing its trustees that it is a year early in reaching its $1 billion dollar goal on a private fundraising campaign started in 2005. Most of the 98,000 donors to the campaign, say officials, gave less than $5,000—in some cases, far less.
In Texas meanwhile, Texas Christian University was a full two years early in reaching and exceeding its goal of $250 million raised from 31,000 donors. Also in Texas, the Southern Methodist University has broken its own fundraising records by raising more than $5 million for SMU athletics.
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What’s the story behind this success in the context of the recession? We can only assume, but the stories hint at the community energy around these institutions. Still, there will be little time to stop and celebrate. For UT, the success comes in the wake of state cuts to their budget and all have plans, of course, to mount the next campaign.—Ruth McCambridge