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KU Endowment provided university with record-breaking $185.3M in fiscal year 2017, report shows

KU Endowment, at 1891 Constant Ave., is shown in this Journal-World file photo from Nov. 23, 2016.

An annual report released recently shows KU Endowment provided a record-breaking $185.3 million in institutional support for the University of Kansas in the fiscal year 2017.

The report outlines KU Endowment’s finances as of June 30, the end of the fiscal year. Out of that $185.3 million transferred to KU, $62.6 million went toward support of university facilities.

“What this year’s annual report reflects is an ongoing level of support generated by the Far Above campaign as it relates to completing a number of buildings on campus,” said Dale Seuferling, KU Endowment president.

KU Endowment’s Far Above campaign became the largest higher education fundraising effort to date in Kansas when it wrapped last summer, pulling in a record-breaking $1.66 billion to bolster student support, faculty, facilities and programs at KU and the KU hospital.

Recent construction projects supported by campaign funds include the new $82 million Health Education Building at the KU Medical Center and the state-of-the-art Earth, Energy and Environment Center on the Lawrence campus, which will open its doors to students in spring 2018.

This year’s record-breaking $185.3 in institutional support allocated $50.5 million toward programs and education, $33.6 million toward student support (not including the $3.16 million in student loans) and $38.6 million in faculty support.

And those funds, though less “tangible” than the highly visible construction projects, are no less important to the university, Seuferling said, funding things like lectures, exhibits and visiting scholars.

Through KU Endowment funding, seven new faculty professorships, along with 88 new scholarships and fellowships, were created in 2017.

Donors provided $154.8 million in gifts to KU Endowment in the last fiscal year, down from $209.9 million in fiscal year 2016. (That year posted the third highest total in KU Endowment’s history.)

“This year lagged behind the previous year in dollars contributed, but that’s expected the first year out of a campaign,” Seuferling said.

KU Endowment reported an asset portfolio valued at $1.44 billion, up from $1.31 billion in fiscal year 2016.

“Across all campuses, we’re coming out of a period where a significant number of new facilities were constructed and are being completed, so a lot of the focus going forward is really on human capital for building our scholarship resources for students, and funds to fund our faculty,” Seuferling said.

In fiscal year 2018, he said, expect more crowdfunding efforts via KU Endowment’s LaunchKU initiative.

The giving program enables donors to pick and choose the people, schools and projects most meaningful to them, with current options as diverse as supporting immunotherapy research at the KU Cancer Center and purchasing new nets for the KU water polo team.

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