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Elmhurst University Sets $10 Million Fundraising Record

July 9, 2021 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Elmhurst University has just completed its best fundraising year in institutional history.

In fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021), Elmhurst University raised more than $10 million, the most ever raised in one year by the institution. The record year continues a trend of significant philanthropic contributions to the University, totaling $35 million over the past five years.

“It’s thrilling to see the momentum that has been building for the University, especially as we celebrate our 150th anniversary this year,” President Troy D VanAken said.

More than 2,500 gifts this past year supported the Elmhurst University Annual Fund, scholarships, student activities and experiences, faculty and student research opportunities, new academic programs, the endowment, transformations to the physical campus and other institutional priorities.

In a year shaped and overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, philanthropic gifts helped many students overcome urgent financial challenges, and better equipped the University to pivot, adapt and ultimately achieve a successful 2020-2021 academic year.

Philanthropy was particularly impactful, leading to the establishment of the President’s Scholarship for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; broader access to STEM education (through a National Science Foundation grant); and a number of facilities improvements across campus.

Contributions and support came from a variety of sources, including President’s Circle members, trustees, employees, alumni, students, parents and friends of the University, as well as from corporate, non-profit and governmental entities.

Two record-setting contributions came from individuals. A gift by business leader and Elmhurst U. Trustee Alfred Koplin earlier this year was the largest to date by a living donor. To honor decades of philanthropy by Koplin and his wife, Jean, the University dedicated Jean Koplin Memorial Hall in June. In the fall of 2020, a $1.8 million gift from the estate of alumnus and longtime donor George Howard Baechtold ’50 also represented one of the largest in the institution’s history.

“We’re so grateful to our supporters from every part of the Elmhurst University community,” President VanAken said. “They believe in our mission and our institution, and want both to thrive for another 150 years.”

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