Graduates of Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina appreciate all that their alma mater gave them — and once they leave campus with their diploma, they are some of the most likely alumni in the country to give back to their former university. In the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the university was awarded more than $101.9 million in private donations, many of which came from alumni. According to a release by Clemson University, nearly 24 percent of all alumni donated to the university in the last year, which is one of the highest rates of alumni donation among public universities in the country.
Probably most notable is the fact that the young alumni donation numbers grew significantly. Typically, it is difficult for universities — both public and private — to get donations from recent graduates. This is largely due to the fact that young alumni are often just starting out in their careers, they are making large purchases such as homes and cars and many are still paying off student loans that they acquired while earning their degree. In 2012, Clemson University received $201,591 from young alumni. By the end of the 2013 fiscal year, that number had jumped to $640,662.
This particularly excited the university, as it is the foundation for future donations. If young alumni are donating to the university at this point in their lives, the odds are high that they will continue to donate as they mature and grow their personal wealth. This is the type of established relationship that many alumni associations try to create with graduates as they leave campus and go on to start their lives after college. It speaks volumes about the way that Clemson University alumni feel about their school. Clearly, these students respect the institution where they earned their degree, and they want to give back to the university.
In addition to donations from young alumni, there were other significant fundraising milestones raised this year at Clemson University. For instance, Joe and Gretchen Erwin of Greenville, South Carolina donated more than $1 million in order to fund the creation of the Erwin Center for the Study of Advertising and Communication. Also, Goz and Pat Segars, who live in Hartsville, South Carolina, provided the university with $1.5 million to help fund scholarships within the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.
Donations to the university continue to climb each year, allowing Clemson to fund a variety of different scholarships and programs that directly benefit the students who are currently enrolled on campus. For instance, the Will to Lead fundraising campaign has helped create more than 400 scholarships and fellowship opportunities, as well as funding for 100 new faculty positions at the university. These continued donations help boost the university during a time when state governments are struggling to properly fund higher education institutions, and the growing donation numbers among alumni show that Clemson will continue to shine into the near future.