Understanding what the $250 million NSU received means for you

Three weeks ago, NSU hosted the 20th Annual Celebration of Excellence, which recognized those serving the community as well as significant donors whose gifts totaled $1 million or more. Six individuals, whose donations helped to achieve NSU’s “Realizing Potential” campaign three years ahead of schedule, were inducted into the NSU Fellows Society “Shark Circle” during this year’s event. Still, inquiring minds wanted to know: What should students expect to see now that the monetary goal for “Realizing Potential” campaign has been met?

A little context about the campaign

The “Realizing Potential” fundraising campaign started in 2008 with a landmark goal of reaching $250 million by September 2020, in line with the Vision 2020 outlined by President Hanbury. NSU’s “Realizing Potential” campaign surpassed this goal last month, amassing a total of $252.5 million in donations. According to NSU’s website, the early success of this campaign reflects  “high donor confidence in NSU’s ability to turn aspirations into reality.” But what does all of this really mean?

The breakdown

This campaign is comprised of direct contributions, gifts which are intended to be disbursed over time as well as estate plans which have been signed over. These are then separated into three distinct funds: support for students, support for faculty and support for “21st century education.” According to NSU officials, the latter is an element of which will help make our institution exceptional, unique and well-poised for the future.

Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, vice president for advancement and community relations, said that this will not only attract more students and recognition to the university, but also bring academic support for students.

The exact breakdown of the goal is as follows:

  • $125 million goal for student support
  • $75 million goal for faculty support
  • $50 million goal toward 21st century education

Since the campaign goal was surpassed, the final totals of the campaign amounted to $140 million in student support, $50.5 million in faculty support and $61 million for 21st century education. According to Anderson, a majority of these donations and gifts will have a clear focus on scholarships for students, and will even contribute to those currently enrolled.

One third of the campaign — $80 million — will go directly to the university’s endowment fund. Typically, endowments, which are donated to universities, are meant to be invested to grow the principal and provide additional investments in the long term.

“This is a way to ensure that the university has a strong basis of financial strength and it is also an element by which our institution is evaluated compared to other institutions,” said Anderson.

What students will begin to see

One change that resulted from reaching this goal was the opportunity for donors to not only donate gifts, but to have buildings, programs and similar property named after them. The “Realizing Potential” website outlines, in detail, these opportunities. Recent accolades include the naming of the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine, the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences, the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing, and the Rick Case Arena.

When President Hanbury implemented this campaign, his primary goal was to make sure NSU’s endowment could grow to show the strength of the university and the trajectory path that NSU is heading down.

According to Anderson, through the town hall meetings, Hanbury hopes to gain input from faculty, staff and students about their vision and aspirations for NSU so that those thoughts can be incorporated into an enhanced strategic plan for the university. It is from that plan that the university can develop new priorities for philanthropy in the future.

“Philanthropy is one of key elements that differentiates excellence at an institution,” said Anderson. “We’ve been fortunate to have gotten many [donations] in large and small amounts … some of the ways people will see impacts is through scholarship and improved facilities,” said Anderson.

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