BHSU sees record-breaking year for donations

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, February 1, 2016/Categories: 2016

Black Hills State University reported a record-breaking year for donations in 2015. The annual Jacket Ride is one of several fundraisers the University holds to raise money for student scholarships. BHSU University Advancement raised more than $10 million. This marks the fifth consecutive year BHSU has set record-breaking fundraising years.  

For the fifth consecutive year, Black Hills State University reported a record-breaking fundraising year.

BHSU University Advancement raised $10,207,920 by 2,516 donors in 2015, more than double the amount raised just two years ago.

"The generosity of BHSU alums and friends is overwhelming," said Steve Meeker, vice president for University Advancement. "That kind of money given from people who believe in BHSU and believe in our students is overwhelming."

There were 797 first-time donors in 2015, a huge achievement for University Advancement, Meeker said.

"Having nearly 800 first-time donors is excellent. We now can increase our efforts to help students earn their degrees through more scholarship opportunities," Meeker said.

Meeker noted that the largest cash gift awarded to the University in 2015 was $1 million. A $3 million donation was given as an estate gift to the University in 2015, as well, to enhance student-athlete scholarships and business students at BHSU.

The record donation of more than $10 million, in addition to a significant increase in first-time donors, is the direct result of the continued success of the University, Meeker said.

"This shows the great things happening at our University and the significant progress in the past year," he added.  

A majority of the donations will be used toward student scholarships, Meeker said, offering students increased opportunities for students to receive a high-quality education at BHSU and utilize the new educational facilities on campus.

"The number of scholarships keeps increasing significantly because of these efforts from our donors," he said.

About 10 years ago, Meeker said an increased effort was made to enhance fundraising goals. New fundraising events were added to the calendar, and others were revamped. The annual 1883 Dinner was modified to become not only an event to recognize University donors, but raise additional money for student scholarships. University Advancement also increased the number of events for alumni and friends to donate to the University. BHSU hosts seven golf tournaments a year, the BHSU Jacket Ride, Kevin Whirlwind Memorial Run and others.

As a BHSU alum, Meeker said he is very proud he and the rest of the University Advancement were able to accomplish the record donations over the years.

"I look forward to continue this success in the future," he said. Because I know it's so important for our students today and our students in the future."

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