New and potential students touring Virginia Tech's campus
New and potential students touring campus

Tens of thousands of donors stepped forward to support programs all throughout Virginia Tech in a year of unprecedented generosity.

The university received a record $181.9 million in new gifts and commitments during the 2018-2019 fiscal year, up 18 percent from the previous year’s total and the third straight year in which donations topped $150 million.

“Our alumni, friends, faculty, staff, parents, and students have shown how much they value Virginia Tech and are committed to its future,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “We are profoundly grateful for their record-setting generosity. With their support, we can change communities, the commonwealth, and the world through research and education. Thank you, Hokie Nation, for your strength and incredibly generous spirit.”

A total of 36,286 individuals, corporations, and foundations gave to Virginia Tech during the fiscal year that ended June 30. The previous record for new gifts and commitments was $162.3 million, provided during 2016-2017.

The largest gift in Virginia Tech’s history — $50 million from the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust and Heywood and Cynthia Fralin for the renamed Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC — helped drive the record total. Other multimillion-dollar gifts included $2 million split between the Pamplin College of Business and Virginia Tech Athletics by the Merryman family and $3 million from Boeing in support of the Calhoun Honors Discovery Program.

Multiple colleges and programs saw large increases in new gifts and commitments, including the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. It received $6.1 million, up from $1.5 million the previous year.

“We are thrilled with the increased support from donors who have helped to propel the college forward this past year,” said Gregory B. Daniel, interim dean of the veterinary college. “Thanks to this support, we are delivering inclusive access to education through scholarships, discovering treatments and cures, providing outreach focused on promoting health and prevention of disease through our public health program, and expanding preventive, emergency, and specialty care services that will impact more animals and save more lives.”

Virginia Tech also reports total cash received through donations during the fiscal year, which was $120.3 million.

Donor support for the Beyond Boundaries Scholars Program, through which the university matches certain qualifying scholarship gifts, surpassed $1 million, up 36 percent on the year before. That rise in giving allowed the program to grow to help 282 students for the upcoming 2019-20 academic year.

Giving Day 2019
More than 6,600 people made gifts during Virginia Tech's second Giving Day.

The university had a strong showing from Hokie alumni. The number of alumni who made gifts rose to 22,845, up 5 percent from the previous fiscal year. The university’s alumni giving participation rate was 13 percent.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of the Hokie Nation,” said Sandra Davis, who chairs the Virginia Tech Foundation Board of Directors. “Alumni giving drives the success of Virginia Tech in the state, across the country, and around the world. Our network of supporters is strong.”

Virginia Tech’s second Giving Day was a major success, far surpassing its inaugural year in participation and dollars raised. More than 6,600 people made gifts totaling $2.8 million during the 24-hour fundraising challenge.

Giving Day 2020 is planned for noon March 18 to noon March 19.

“It was incredible to see such support from Hokies all across the U.S. and the world on Giving Day and throughout the year,” said Heather Kopec, director of annual giving. “Thank you for supporting Virginia Tech.”

On Giving Day and other days, a wide variety of groups showed their generosity. Nearly 8,000 alumni, parents, or friends made their first-ever gift to Virginia Tech. The number of students in their senior year who gave was over 850.

All members of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors gave during the fiscal year.

“Support from the entire university community is critical to making Virginia Tech’s vision a reality,” said Horacio Valeiras, board rector.

Written by Jenny Boone