Record fundraising year for Miami thanks to famous alumni

For Miami University, 2016 was a record breaking year in fundraising, thanks in large part to a famous alumni couple.

The university and its supporters raised a historical record $92.1 million in gifts.

The fundraising mark for last year, which was up 73 percent from 2015, was broken thanks to a $40 million gift from alumni Richard T. “Dick” (Miami ’56) and Joyce Farmer (Miami ’57) and the Farmer Family Foundation.

MORE: Gift a record for Miami University

It was the largest gift from a single foundation or individual in Miami’s 207-year history.

In October when the donation was announced, Farmer said, “we have such wonderful memories here, Joyce and I, as do our children and grandchildren,” said Farmer, retired chairman and CEO of Cintas Corp.

“The Farmer School is one of the greatest undergraduate business schools in the country, and to remain great requires constant innovation. It requires talented, motivated students learning relevant skills from dedicated faculty,” he said.

In 2005, the Farmer Family Foundation was the lead donor for the construction of the Miami University Farmer School of Business building and faculty support.

RELATED: Miami University opens $25M Athletic Performance Center

The $40 million gift will support all elements of the Farmer School of Business, including its faculty, students, emerging programs and curriculum, according to Miami.

“Our alumni’s unwavering commitment to their school continues to drive Miami’s fundraising momentum,” Miami University President Greg Crawford said.

“Donor support plays such a crucial role for the university and greatly enriches the experience of our students as it allows us to sustain our position as a top public university,” said Crawford.

Miami University — with its main campus in Oxford, two regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown and a learning center in West Chester Twp. — is Butler County’s largest employer.

PAYROLL PROJECT: Top Butler County salaries can be found at Miami U.

University officials said highlights of last year’s giving include:

• $38 million in scholarships were raised for 42 percent of total giving. Halfway into the five-year Miami Promise Scholarship Campaign, the university has raised $67 million toward the $100 million goal.

• Alumni gave more than $65 million, 71 percent of total contributions, followed by friends (19 percent), corporations and foundations (7 percent), and parents (3 percent).

Ongoing fundraising initiatives include the Graduating Champions Campaign in support of intercollegiate athletics (ICA). The campaign, the largest in ICA history, has raised more than $60 million toward its $80 million goal.

“The generosity of our donors makes a profound difference for our students,” said Tom Herbert, vice president for University Advancement. “It is humbling to see such overwhelming assistance, especially in a record number.”

Download the free Journal-News app, Butler County’s #1 source for local news

About the Author