ST. LOUIS — The University of Missouri - St. Louis raised more than $21 million in gifts, matching gifts and pledges in the 2020 fiscal year — an increase of 21% from the 2019 fiscal year.
The uptick in fundraising came as the university bid farewell to Tom George, its chancellor of 16 years. George retired from the university in September, and Kristin Sobolik was named as his permanent replacement in April.
"We are so grateful to our many friends and donors who showed their support for UMSL and its unique mission as the only public research university in our region," Sobolik said in a statement. "We know the impact this pandemic has had on everyone's financial well-being, but that makes it even more important that we continue to provide high quality, affordable education, particularly for members of our most vulnerable communities."
UMSL started seeking funds for its UMSL Strong Scholarship program after the coronavirus pandemic began this spring. The scholarship is intended to support students impacted by dramatic economic upheaval that may be threatening their ability to continue an education, officials said.
In addition, the university created the Triton Emergency Fund in March to help its students meet more immediate financial needs, such as paying rent, utilities or transportation — as a result of job loss or other emergencies.
"The leadership that we have in key positions within advancement has come together to understand the task at hand," Paul Herring, vice chancellor for university advancement, said in a statement. "We've been able to pull together and work well to elevate our advancement office to accommodate societal needs but also the needs of the region and workforce."
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