The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Donor Support Goes Above and Beyond

Obviously, this has been a very demanding year for the economy. But, thanks to our donors digging deeply into their pockets during hard times, the College of Engineering Development Office bucked that trend in a big way by shattering its FY2010 fund-raising goal. “I am thrilled to report that we exceeded our COE goal of $2,240,000 in cash gifts,” said Paula Sakey, the director of development. “As of this writing, we are about 26 percent above last year’s private support and 108 percent of goal! I sincerely want to thank our alumni and other donors for making this a banner year.”

This year’s support was a stellar team effort by our college donors in face of a 3.6 percent drop in national charitable contributions from American individuals to educational institutions. Given the dwindling state support for the university during the recent economic crisis, private contributions become an even more crucial factor in continuing efforts by the college to carry out its mission of educating qualified engineering students from Massachusetts and beyond.

The ability to enrich our programs, research, and – most importantly – our students has always been dependent on a rewarding partnership between the college and its alumni, friends, and industry partners. A few programs that have benefitted as a result of increased donor support this year include scholarships for engineering students, the new CLASS-E Exploratorium student center in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, the Senior Design Project capstone course in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, the campaign to build a new Structural Testing Facility for the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, new endowments in the Chemical Engineering Department, the UMass Engineering Career Center, and the Diversity Programs Office.

“Alumni and friends of the College of Engineering realize that an investment in our faculty and students can pay tremendous dividends,” said Sakey. “We are grateful for their generosity and look forward to continuing to achieve great heights through their continued involvement and support.”

“Alumni provide vital support to the college, and I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for their generous gifts,” said Dean Ted Djaferis. He added that “the development staff did an excellent job during a very difficult fund-raising year.” (July 2010)