EMU Giving Sees Slight Increase

Unrestricted contributions of $1,786,000 to Eastern Mennonite University for the 2009-10 fiscal year ending June 30 were up 3.4 percent over the previous year.

Total contributions to EMU, including restricted gifts and grants, totaled $4,857,757 compared with $6,194,442 in 2009.

"The decrease in total giving is largely due to a windfall bequest of $1 million EMU received last year," noted EMU President Loren Swartzendruber. noted.

"In recent years, total philanthropic support has hovered around $5 million per year, so this past year has been more typical in that regard. Overall, it was a good year for EMU, especially given the continued softness of the economy," the president said.

Over $3 million in restricted gifts and bequests was contributed in support of special projects in both the undergraduate and graduate programs as well as for endowment.

According to Kirk L. Shisler, vice president for advancement, EMU received several substantial gifts that made the difference in total giving for the fiscal year.

"We successfully completed a $2.4 million theater and fine arts campaign with nearly $500,000 of these funds received during the 2009-10 fiscal year. This includes $146,000 that was contributed to establish a studio theater in memory of EMU alumnus Lee Eshleman," Shisler reported.

EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) was the recipient of several large grants this past year, including $200,000 in special project support from the Kellogg Foundation for the "Coming to the Table" project, a program focused on racial reconciliation among descendants of slaves and slave owners.

EMU’s endowment fund also received a boost in new contributions of $667,000 during the year. Scholarship support for business and science students were among several program areas that benefited from these new contributions to the endowment fund.

"We are extremely grateful for the widespread support EMU received in what has been a very challenging economic environment for fundraising," Swartzendruber said.