Despite protests over race relations at the University of Missouri that thrust the campus into the national spotlight last fall, private support for the university so far this fiscal year is well ahead of the 2015 pace and on course to set an annual record, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune. At the end of January fundraising was $17 million higher than at the same point last year, and donations are up $6.9 million from fiscal 2014, the campus's best year for giving to date.
Big donors' loyalty and an ongoing capital campaign appear to be fueling the boost. Mizzou saw a dip in small contributions after the protests, which roiled the campus and led to the university president's departure, and overall donations in the last two months of 2015 were down more than $8 million from the previous year. But gifts last month, buoyed by a large pledge about which the university has yet to release details, totaled $21.9 million, much higher than the February 2015 take, the Tribune writes.
“We are still hearing some of the same things. There are still questions about leadership,” said Tom Hiles, Mizzou's vice chancellor for advancement. “The difference is major gifts. Gifts of $1 million or more are very individualized gifts built on relationships of years.”