American University is located in Washington, D.C., at the top of Embassy Row. Chartered by Congress in 1893 to serve the public interest and build the nation, the university educates active citizens who apply knowledge to the most pressing concerns facing the nation and world. Students engage with leading faculty experts and world leaders, learning how to create change and address issues including the global economic crisis, health care, human rights and justice, diversity, the environment and sustainability, immigration, journalism’s transformation, corporate governance, and governmental reform.
We want our alumni to participate on campus, to help students, to come to events, and to be an active part of this institution. OFTEN WHEN PRESIDENT KERWIN and I speak to alumni, we ask them to reach back to AU. You’re out there in the world; you’ve made it. Reach back and extend a helping hand to the students here today by providing the resources necessary for the lifeblood of the institution. When you give to American, whether it’s $25, $250, or $25,000, it demonstrates that you recognize the difference that AU made in your life. Whether it’s something you learned from a faculty member that resonates in your career, an experience you had through residential life, involvement in a leadership program, or meeting of a lifelong friend, this place affected you. Gifts from alumni help us enhance the student experience by enabling us to give more scholarship aid, retain faculty, bring amazing guests to campus, or send a student abroad who otherwise couldn’t afford it. Alumni giving is also critical to AU’s stature. The number of alumni that give back is often examined by potential corporate and foundation supports. People look at it as an indicator of graduates’ satisfaction. Foundations, corporations, and, increasingly, individuals consider it the measure of people’s willingness to demonstrate their affinity to the institution. Well-known ratings of colleges and universities fall back on it heavily in their rankings. For the most part, $25 gifts are designated for one of our operational funds, which go to things like scholarship support. While $25 may not seem like a lot, it has a cumulative effect. In fact, almost 95 percent of all gifts received last fiscal year were under $1,000, resulting in more than $1,377,297 of support for our most critical needs. We’re also grateful to members of our President’s Circle— donors who annually support the university with gifts of $2,500 or more. They play an invaluable leadership role in our philanthropic community. We’re keen on having more engaged investors in AU. We want our alumni to participate on campus, to help students, to come to events, and to be an active part of this institution. If American University was there for you, if AU supported you, trained you, or sent you to study abroad, giving back is a chance to tell the world of the powerful impact that this institution can make. Sincerely, Thomas J. Minar, PhD Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations 38 AMERICAN MAGAZINE APRIL 2014
giving UFUND IS AN INNOVATIVE WAY for you to support the projects and initiatives that you care about most. UFUND gifts allow us to plant trees, sponsor film series, provide online mental health screenings, and even help the pep band buy a sousaphone. Pick your project at american.edu/UFUND. UNRESTRICTED ANNUAL GIFTS to the AU Fund for Excellence are a top priority. These gifts support all areas of the institution and allow AU to direct funds to areas where they are most needed. Annual gifts may also be broadly designated to a specific purpose, such as a gift to a school or college, department, or campus program. By contributing to AU’s school-based deans’ funds, you provide critical support to bridge the gap between tuition revenues and the true cost of educating students. GIVING TO THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIAN VISIONARY FUND allows the university librarian to enhance the collections, facilities, and services that support student learning in our nationally recognized academic programs. In addition to our faculty, staff, and students, alumni benefit from the library and have access to a variety of electronic databases. ATHLETICS PLAY A PIVOTAL ROLE in the AU experience. Designating gifts to a specific sport through the Eagles Club allows the head coach to apply your gift to the area of greatest importance. All donations designated to General Athletics will be applied to athletic, academic, and operational needs across the department. IT TAKES A GENEROUS COMMUNITY of thousands of supporters to ensure AU maintains and builds upon its status as a world-class institution. In fiscal year 2012–2013, alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, and friends from all 50 states and 23 countries chose to support AU. Many of these gifts were less than $1,000 and were designated to reflect the vastness of donors’ interests and priorities. DONOR-FUNDED SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID are vital to ensuring that the best, brightest, and most deserving students have access to an AU education. Many thanks to all of you who have given millions to support our students’ education. For even more ways to give, visit american.edu/giving. ILLUSTRATIONS BY BRUCE MORSER AMERICAN.EDU/ALUMNI 39