The total number of donations Binghamton University received in the 2010 fiscal year was more than double the amount received in the 2009 fiscal year, an increase principally generated through donations from Siemens, the Dr. G. Clifford & Florence B. Decker Foundation and Ernst & Young, LLP.
In 2009, donations to BU totaled $11.9 million, which included a $6 million cash gift from an anonymous donor.
This anonymous donation was the largest from an individual in the University’s history. The gift supported the creation of the American Dream Scholarship, which provides financial assistance for women and minority students, according to Rebecca Benner, senior director for advancement services and campaign operations at BU.
In 2010, however, BU received $31.6 million in gifts, including a grant valued at $25.9 million from Siemens, a multinational technology corporation and the University’s top donor.
Siemens shares a commitment to innovation in engineering education with Binghamton’s own Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, according to Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari, the Watson School’s dean.
“Siemens is a pioneer in energy efficiency, industrial productivity, affordable and personalized health care systems and intelligent infrastructure solutions,” Srihari said.
The corporation’s most recent grant to BU consists of lifecycle management software, which Srihari said will provide Watson School students with “a competitive advantage in response to the demands of industry and today’s dynamic job market.”
According to Srihari, Siemens has a long-standing relationship with BU.
“They join us in a strong commitment to preparing the next generation of engineers by exposing students to leading-edge computer-aided design and computer-aided engineering tools,” Srihari said.
According to Benner, Siemens provided a “tremendous boost” in BU’s donations, yet the increase can also be attributed to Binghamton’s capital fundraising campaign, “Bold. Brilliant. Binghamton,” which was launched publicly in April 2010.
The campaign has worked hard to maintain a flow of donations at a time when state funding of the University has decreased due to budget cuts.
“The campaign funding priorities support our core mission of academic excellence and focuses on support for faculty, academic programs and student aid,” Benner said. “It has also been a wonderful opportunity to engage a large number of individuals and build pride in the institution.”
According to Benner, the University’s alumni have also been consistent in making donations. Overall, alumni have provided the largest number of gifts to the University.
“Over the past year, we have seen a 4 percent increase in alumni giving, as did participation. We attribute this to a very strong outreach program that engages with donors, at all levels of giving, and all constituents — from our very young alumni through to our more mature graduates,” Benner said.