Alumni & Advancement
The Institutional Advancement Division includes more than 90 staff members who work in Development (fund-raising), University Relations (communications and government relations), and Alumni and Constituent Relations (events, volunteerism and relationships).
St. Thomas has had 105,000 alumni in its history, and records as of July 2012 indicate that 95,000 of them are living. Some highlights:
- Fifty-six percent are undergraduate alumni and 34 percent are graduate alumni, with three percent holding undergraduate and graduate degrees and seven percent being non-degreed (an individual is considered an alumnus if he or she attended St. Thomas for two or more semesters).
- Sixty-one percent of graduates are men and 39 percent are women. Over the last 25 years, the split has been nearly 50-50.
- More than two thirds of alumni received bachelor’s degrees in what now are known as the College of Arts and Sciences and the Opus College of Business. By far the largest number of graduate program alumni have degrees in business and education.
- More than six of 10 alumni live in Minnesota, followed by Wisconsin (four percent).
About 20 percent of undergraduate alumni make gifts each year to St. Thomas; that number has climbed from the mid-teens a decade ago. (For more information on giving, see the fund-raising sections below.)
Although the School of Law has been open only since the fall of 2001, participation in the giving program has placed it in the top one percent of all ABA-accredited law schools in the category of giving for several years. For seven out of eight years, School of Law alumni reached greater than 52 percent participation.
A more detailed alumni population analysis is available to candidates upon request.
Annual Fund Participation
The Development Office has been highly successful over the last decade in increasing both donor participation and the number of dollars raised for the institution.
The university’s donor count has more than doubled since 2001 and exceeded 15,000 individuals for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.
The increases have been a result of an aggressive effort to solicit donations from alumni through new call center and “phonathon” efforts, assignment of a larger number of prospective donors to a larger staff of gift officers, and new programs to encourage giving from parents of undergraduate students and seniors. The donor counts have increased from 6,413 in 2001 to more than 15,300 in 2012.
The amount of funds—pledges and cash in the door—also has increased over the last decade. The numbers vary greatly from year to year, depending on large pledges (e.g., a donor made a $50 million pledge at the end of FY2003 and another donor pledged $60 million in FY2007). The fiscal year “new money” funds, in cash and pledges, have ranged from $7.5 million to $85 million since 2001.
The Board of Trustees is extremely active both in terms of contributed dollars and providing active leadership in raising funds year to year. The board each year approves a resolution encouraging participation in the Annual Fund, and trustee participation is 100 percent.
St. Thomas formally announced its Opening Doors capital campaign in October 2007. The campaign, which seeks to raise $500 million for student financial aid, academic program improvements, and three building projects, will conclude in October 2012. Its silent phase started in July 2003. By the time of its formal announcement, $310 million had been received in cash and pledges.
As of July 1, 2012, the campaign had raised more than $475 million in cash and pledges. A $20 million challenge gift made by members of the Board of Trustees earlier this year is expected to bring the university very close to, if not over, the $500 million goal. A similar $25 million gift from an anonymous donor in 2010–2011 was fully matched by donors.
The top gifts from individuals or their family foundations have been $70 million, $60 million, $50 million and $30 million, and by the campaign’s end more than 40,000 donors will have made gifts.
Trustees typically make the largest gifts and provided active leadership. The four eight-figure gifts noted above came from trustees. Two trustees with more than 15 years of board service—banker John M. Morrison and Best Buy founder Richard Schulze—are co-chairs of the Opening Doors campaign. Neither co-chair is an alumnus of St. Thomas but became interested, and then actively engaged, in the university’s work.
The largest priority of the Opening Doors campaign—$130 million—has been student financial aid and is close to being realized. Another significant goal was the construction of the Anderson Student Center ($66 million), Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex ($52 million) and Anderson Parking Facility ($15 million).
This is the fifth capital campaign at St. Thomas. Previous campaigns and their fund-raising totals are:
|Program for Great Teaching (1962–1965)||$6.3 million|
|Priorities for the ’80s (1973–1982)||$20.1 million|
|Century II (1984–1991)||$83.0 million|
|Ever Press Forward (1993–2001)||$250.0 million|
For more information about the Opening Doors campaign, see www.stthomas.edu/openingdoors.