Tulane experienced the best fundraising year in the school’s 183-year history in 2016-17 with more than 20,000 alumni, parents and friends donating to the university. (Photo by Sally Asher)
More than 20,000 alumni, parents and friends donated to Tulane University during the 2016-17 fiscal year, making it the best fundraising year in the school’s 183-year history. The surge in giving during this period exceeded Tulane’s five-year average by $20 million.
New gifts and commitments exceeded $126 million, breaking the university’s all-time giving record and aligning fundraising with Tulane’s upward trajectory across many fronts, including a 36 percent increase in student applications, a 38 percent increase in students of color in the past five years, and average SAT scores up 48 points.
“The generosity of our donors shows a strong commitment and enthusiasm for educating the next generation of leaders, engaging in life-saving research and medical care and using the academic enterprise to address social issues, both in New Orleans and throughout the world,” Fitts said.
"I applaud our alumni network and philanthropic community for making significant investments in our faculty, students, and all of our inventive programs campus wide."
-Board Chair Doug Hertz
Tulane’s top gifts of the year included $10 million for Presidential Chairs, which will be filled by faculty nationally renowned in innovative and interdisciplinary research and teaching. The record-breaking fundraising year includes a focused drive toward scholarship investment to ultimately remove financial barriers and provide every deserving student access to a Tulane education.
"I applaud our alumni network and philanthropic community for making significant investments in our faculty, students, and all of our inventive programs campus wide,” said Board Chair Doug Hertz. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I commend President Fitts and university leadership on charting a bold course for Tulane. Achieving a record year of giving only strengthens our ability to fulfill our lofty ambitions.”
The record amount of funds raised will support initiatives such as the new Mussafer Hall, which will unite career programming, academic advising and student success services under one roof; a historic investment in the School of Law; a major expansion of the A. B. Freeman School of Business; the Tulane Bywater Institute and the future construction of the Tulane Brain Institute.
Along with the Presidential Chairs, Tulane has been able to add faculty members such as Kim Talus, the new James McCulloch Chair in Energy Law and Walter Isaacson, the ASPEN Institute president and former CNN and Time executive who recently joined the history department. Tulane also received funding from the Carol Lavin Bernick Family Foundation for faculty needs in research, recruitment, development, continuing education and student engagement.