Outpouring of Commerce Community Support Bolsters School in Unprecedented Year

Nearly $4.2 million raised for Annual Fund; 53% raised toward long-term campaign goal

Rouss Hall

The McIntire School of Commerce raised more than $21 million, including just under $4.2 million in cash gifts for its Annual Fund, as well as support for the Centennial Fund for Faculty Excellence and other key campaign priorities for the 2020 fiscal year. Overall, the School secured $32.7 million in new commitments (gifts, pledges, and expectancies), contributing to increasing momentum in its ongoing Inspire the Next Century campaign, which celebrates the School’s 100th anniversary in 2021.

In an uncertain period defined by a multitude of complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the McIntire community responded with extraordinary loyalty. Leadership gifts from the nearly 500 members of the McIntire Dean’s Society who contributed $2,500 or more (or $1,000 or more for young alumni) serve as an instrumental component in maintaining and enhancing the School’s excellence across all of its programs and services. As exemplified by the School’s response to the challenges presented by the continuing crisis, their gifts offer the critical support behind McIntire’s ability to pivot so successfully during the spring 2020 semester and to confidently approach any potential complexities affecting the 2020-2021 academic year.

With total commitments of $131.5 million contributed to the Inspire the Next Century campaign, fundraising efforts recently bypassed the 53% mark of the long-term $250 million total goal. Matches from the University’s Strategic Investment Fund are creating an additional impact of more than $18.3 million. Contributions to the campaign strengthen endeavors that ensure McIntire’s continued development in highly important areas, such as supporting the School’s visionary faculty and guaranteeing the wide range of opportunities that constitute the inimitable student experience.

“I am truly impressed by the generosity and commitment of McIntire’s community of donors,” said John A. Griffin Dean Nicole Thorne Jenkins. “As we launch the 2020-2021 academic year, the community’s collective support ensures that McIntire is well-equipped to respond to uncertainties in the days ahead, and will sustain our excellence as a leader in global business education. Unrestricted funds from McIntire’s Annual Fund are more crucial than ever, and I am grateful to all who contributed this past year to safeguard our position of strength. Our students, our staff and faculty, our programs, and the quality of instruction all benefit from philanthropic investment in the School.”

More Fundraising Highlights

Essential to the creation and expansion of the School’s innovative programs, the McIntire Annual Fund allowed for the flexibility required for School-wide modifications in response to COVID-19.

As funding helped ensure the seamless transition to a fully virtual platform for the remainder of last semester, it provided faculty with vital technological resources and assistance; students across all programs remained well-equipped with newly devised remote access to their courses, classmates, as well as the computer lab workstations located within Rouss & Robertson Halls.

Unrestricted gifts to the Annual Fund strengthened the ongoing development and updating of the School’s groundbreaking graduate degrees such as the M.S. in Commerce Program, ranked by The Economist as the #1 U.S.-based master’s in management program. Faced with the halting of international travel, faculty were able to rapidly execute a plan to temporarily replace its faculty-led overseas course, the Global Immersion Experience (GIE), with a series of five brand new courses examining the impact of the health and economic crisis in nearly real time.

Donors also helped to advance programmatic innovation such as the Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) PhD+ Dual-Degree Program, recently launched in collaboration between the Schools of Medicine and Commerce. The BIMS PhD+ provides medical PhD students with indispensable business knowledge, practical skills, and insightful hands-on learning made possible through M.S. in Commerce coursework.

Likewise, the Fund bolstered distinctive graduate degree programs such as the M.S. in Business Analytics, a pioneering degree focused on data-based business strategy offered in partnership by McIntire and the Darden School of Business.

Equally important, the Annual Fund enables the School to make exceptional resources available, such as unrivaled career and student services, cutting-edge technology, and outstanding preparation that provides employers of McIntire graduates immediate value.

The meaningful participation, expertise, and generosity of the School’s corporate sponsors provide many benefits to students and faculty who work closely with their engaged representatives. For the 2020 fiscal year, the McIntire Corporate Partners program yielded unrestricted cash gifts totaling $454,240. Corporate giving supported diversity and inclusion efforts; curriculum development; industry data subscriptions; and networking and experiential learning activities including classroom projects, corporate site visits, and conferences.

Corporate support remains an essential component of the Commerce School’s culture of innovation and inspirational business leadership. As the Integrated Core Experience, the hallmark program of McIntire’s third-year core curriculum, relies on corporate sponsorship, the relationship remains crucial; involvement of these invested professionals gives students the unique opportunity of developing creative solutions to address real-world business issues while learning from direct interaction with corporate executives.

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