Thursday, Aug 5, 2021
Collective gifts from alumni and friends make an impact for Rider and its students
by Diane Cornell
Strong support from alumni, faculty, staff and friends led Rider University to another solid year of fundraising, securing more than $13 million during this last fiscal year, which ended June 30. The total included the largest gift the University ever received for the sciences and contained a record $3 million in gifts and pledges for Rider’s NCAA Division I Athletics program.
In response to the pandemic’s impact on Rider students, supporters of the University stepped up. Rider saw a 19% jump in the total number of alumni donors, as well as increased giving among its youngest alumni. This group, known as BOLD alumni or Broncs of the Last Decade, contributed 89% more this year than last, with the number of young alumni donors rising more than 30%.
Overall, since the pandemic began, the University has raised $31 million from its supporters. Of the total raised this year, $10 million was in restricted funds, which are monies designated for a specific purpose outlined by the donor at the time the gift was made. Such contributions often reflect the passion and commitment of the donor — whether their gift is designated toward a scholarship, Rider’s endowment, athletics or an academic program.
“This year has seen an extraordinary demonstration of commitment to Rider and its students,” says Rider President Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D. “Having such a strong level of support during this pivotal time is inspiring and demonstrates the confidence of our community in Rider’s mission to provide an affordable, inclusive and enriching education for all of our students.”
“Once again, Rider alumni, donors and friends have proven that support for Rider runs deep,” says Board of Trustee Chair John M. Guarino ’82. “The strength of the University and its future lies within this commitment and allows Rider to keep moving forward.”
Among the highlights:
- A $4 million gift from former Trustee Mike Hennessy ’82 in memory of his wife, Patti Hennessy ’82, in support of the expansion of the Science and Technology Center.
- A $1 million gift from Trustee Arthur ’65 and Lois Stainman for The Stainman Family Endowed Scholarship to support academically talented juniors and seniors. Established in 2015, the scholarship has helped 27 students to date pay for their education.
The year also saw a number of individuals band together behind a unique purpose, allowing their gifts to have a strong collective impact:
- A total of 634 former Rider athletes helped Athletics raise more than $200,000 during the department’s annual Raise Your Game team competition. It was the highest amount raised since the competition began in 2010.
- Faculty and staff of the University raised more than $96,000 during Rider’s All In giving challenge. The amount was a 33% increase from the year before and was generously matched, dollar for dollar, by Trustee James P. Bush ’80. Funds raised went to purposes across the University reflecting the wishes of faculty and staff members.
- More than 50 alumni and friends collectively gave more than $30,000 in gifts and pledges to support the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
- The brothers of Theta Chi created a new endowed scholarship with gifts totaling more than $29,000 from 45 members of the fraternity. Recent gifts memorialized Gary Newhouse ’69 who was instrumental in fundraising for the scholarship before his untimely death in January from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
- Under the direction of Professor Emeritus Dr. Chau T. Phan, 27 alumni of the University’s renown Model United Nations program raised nearly $24,000 in support of the program. The monies will go toward the cost of participation for students, including travel to the annual competition.
- Although still ongoing, 105 donors have already raised $18,000 toward a scholarship in honor of Associate Dean of Students Ira Mayo. Mayo retired in June after nearly 40 years working with students at the University. Supporters hope the scholarship reaches the $25,000 endowment level by Homecoming. Contributions to the Dean Ira Mayo Endowed Scholarship Fund are still being accepted.
Gifts to Rider University can be made online at rider.edu/makeadifference.