Donations to Ferris up nearly 60 percent from last year

Ferris received over $6 million in cash donations from June 2012 to June 2013, an increase of 57 percent from one-year prior.

About 75 percent of annual donations are used to fund student scholarships and academic activities. Also, donations go toward funding scholarships for student-athletes. The other 25 percent supports funds that benefit student scholarships and faculty proposals through The Ferris Foundation.

“The university has worked to expand its base of philanthropic support from alumni, corporate sponsors, foundations and other friends of Ferris State University who share our passion for student success,” said Sandy Gholston, Ferris news service manager.

Annual alumni donations increased by $173,000 this year, which totals to $903,874, a 20 percent raise.

Donations don’t always come in the form of cash. Ferris received $1,561,455 in annual in-kind donations. In-kind donations are any donations besides money, such as goods or services. This has increased 70 percent since June 2012.

Volkswagen recently donated a new vehicle to the College of Engineering Technology’s School of Automotive and Heavy Equipment. These donations allow students to stay up-to-date with the latest technology.

The university is not only finding an increase in financial backing, but they are striving to engage more community members and alumni, as well, to strengthen support and commitment to student achievement.

Since 2009, donations have almost doubled from $3.5 million to $6.6 million in the 2013 fiscal year.

“We’re continuing our work to identify the needs of our university community, with funding for student scholarships being one of our top priorities,” Gholston said.

Ferris sophomore pre-optometry major Luke Neuenfeldt said he didn’t realize how important donations were to the university. “Many of my labs would probably be lacking technology or we’d be using technology that will be obsolete once we graduate,” Neuenfeldt said.

Annual donating is one of the primary way alumni, parents, and supporters can help sustain the institution.