Farmers will continue their 2019 harvest for several more weeks, but at the University of Nebraska Foundation, they already are celebrating an overflowing of generosity.

The NU Foundation last week announced that total philanthropic support, including all new gifts and commitments, surpassed $290 million in fiscal 2019. This compares with $231 million in total philanthropic support for 2018.

Brian F. Hastings, president and CEO of the NU Foundation, expressed his deepest gratitude for the phenomenal support from NU’s donors for all areas of the university, including its campuses in Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney.

“They are the reason we can achieve our mission to grow relationships and resources that enable the university to change lives and save lives,” Hastings said.

According to a press release from the NU Foundation, 57,215 donors committed more than $244.9 million in gifts, grants and pledges, with an additional $45.6 million in future commitments through bequests and other planned gift intentions. They would include charitable trusts and gift annuities.

Donors perceived needs in many areas and provided gifts to a variety of priorities, including scholarships, academic and athletic programs, faculty, research, and construction and renovation.

At the University of Nebraska at Kearney, donors supported the LaVonne Kopecky Plambeck Early Childhood Education Center, provided scholarships for College of Education students through the One Room One Teacher program, created scholarships for future math teachers and supported the cybersecurity program.

Donors provided similar benefits at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Systemwide, donors provided support for a Teacher Scholars Academy, which will help address the statewide teacher shortage. New scholarship funds also were created to support students attending the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis.

“Our donors are helping us keep education affordable for students, recruit and retain the very best faculty and conduct research that changes lives in Nebraska and around the world,” said Susan Fritz, NU’s interim president.

This year’s success is another chapter in donors’ long history of supporting the NU Foundation. Think about it: The foundation now manages 11,496 individual funds, each created so donors can designate how their gifts will help NU and its students. Nebraskans trust that the support they provide will be used as they intend and will ensure many successful harvests in the future.

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