More Than $300 Million Raised in Largest Campaign in UNH History


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Wednesday, November 21, 2018
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DURHAM, N.H.—The largest capital campaign in the history of the University of New Hampshire finished on time and more than $25 million ahead of the original goal to provide a total of $308 million in support for student scholarships and to advance teaching and research.

“We are incredibly grateful for the generous support of almost 45,000 donors who invested in UNH’s future,” said Debbie Dutton, UNH’s vice president for advancement. “Because our alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends all came together to meet this challenge, we succeeded in significantly enhancing the culture of philanthropy at UNH and look forward to building on the momentum we have created.”  

More than a third of the funds raised went to support student scholarships. Because of this success, UNH was able to create and launch the Granite Guarantee, a program that supports New Hampshire students. In just its first two years, this commitment to access and affordability means 800 first-year students are attending UNH tuition free.

In addition, the state’s top students continue to benefit from the generosity of long-time benefactor and UNH parent Dana Hamel and his family, who donated an additional $10 million to increase scholarship support for the state’s most promising students. The gift is the largest in school history committed solely to in-state student support. Craig ‘73 and Linda Rydin ‘71 also gave a gift that nearly doubles the scholarship support given to students from Berlin High School through the Rydin Family Scholarship. The Rydins grew up in Berlin.

Of the $118 million raised for student support, nearly $96 million was directed to endowed funds which means the money is invested and scholarships are awarded from the income earned. This allows the original gift to benefit generations of students. The other $22 million is in current use which means the entirety of the gifts can be spent when received to support our students’ financial needs. The $118 million total also includes $65 million in donor commitments via their estates or other deferred giving plans.

The largest single gift in UNH history, $25 million from entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter Paul ’67, launched the Paul College of Business and Economics. As a community, Paul College excites, engages and empowers students to think critically and globally, apply knowledge analytically, make decisions ethically and communicate ideas persuasively. Through rigorous academics coupled with real-world, experience-based learning, students build the confidence, knowledge, skills and persistence they need to lead, forge meaningful lives and excel in careers.

Additionally, the second largest single gift in UNH history—$20 million from Emmy-Award winning television producer Marcy Carsey ‘66—allowed the university’s public policy footprint to expand in pursuit of unbiased, rigorous research and practical, real-world solutions with the opening of the Carsey School of Public Policy.

Gifts to the campaign from Jude Blake ’77 and Morgan ’84 and Tara Rutman also expanded internship and scholarship opportunities in the Paul College of Business and Economics and the Shoals Marine Laboratory, the nation’s first and largest undergraduate marine laboratory, and in the Paul College of Business and Economics. Generous support from George and Christine Whelen opened the doors to the John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center, honoring Whelen Engineering retiring president John Olson ’57 and providing students with experiential learning opportunities and businesses with the skilled workers they need. A gift from Paul ‘63G, ‘01H and Grayce ’60 Anderson will support students studying chemistry.

Led by then-President Mark Huddleston, the “Celebrate 150: The Campaign for UNH” was the largest fundraising campaign the university has ever undertaken, almost three times greater than the last campaign which raised just over $100 million. The top priority was scholarship support for students. Another priority was continuing to build career and professional success opportunities for students.

UNH’s Office of Career and Professional Success (CaPS) transformed the way the university supports students as they prepare for life after college thanks to gifts made during the campaign, including improving the organization’s counselor to student ratio, renovating the building where CaPS is housed and adding video and other technology to support virtual interviews and online networking.

In addition, individuals who directed gifts to UNH via donor advised funds at institutions like the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation contributed more than $20 million to the campaign and $36.6 million of the total amount raised came from more than 42,000 donors who give smaller annual gifts.  

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.