As we begin a new academic year, we certainly have much to be grateful for. We had an unprecedented gubernatorial budget with 24% of the $8 billion in new spending for our state being allocated to higher eduction. We had the largest number of degrees conferred at UTHSC this spring, graduating outstanding new health care professionals who are remarkably resilient having come through their training during a global pandemic. We have also seen growth in our research, including several important new federal grants. Last week, we welcomed new residents, and in just a few weeks, we will welcome new trainees in each of our health sciences colleges. All-in-all, much to be grateful for and to be excited about as we embark on another academic year of accomplishments to come.
I’m grateful to each of you for the initial “down payment” (literally) this past academic year as we raised our Giving Day contributions by 20% to exceed our goal as we raised over $600,000. Thank you for your support. I also wanted to let you know how we ended overall in our philanthropy this past year – we had donations totaling $17.1M, reaching 92% of our goal and 10% higher than the prior year’s fundraising.
This becomes an important foundation for our future philanthropy efforts. We are grateful to the UT Foundation for supporting systemwide training with an external consultant and I’m proud to report that all of our Health Science Center Deans participated in the first installment of this important training. We are excited that next month our development team will have a two day retreat dedicated to raising our game in Philanthropy. Building on our earlier efforts, our Deans will join alongside their development colleagues for a half day of this retreat to discuss our overall goals and to learn from a panel of donors who have kindly agreed to share their wisdom also with us.
Collectively, we are eager to further increase our fundraising during this academic year. UT President Boyd often refers to this being the greatest decade in the history of the University of Tennessee – and we are determined for our fundraising efforts to reflect that! Our philanthropy training will position us better to lead toward new fundraising goals, with this collective effort providing vital support to our students, faculty, and researchers as they work toward our mission to transform health care in Tennessee. Going forward, we need to instill a culture of giving at – and for – UTHSC, and to communicate far and wide about our noble mission and many impressive accomplishments.
I look forward to ‘singing your praises’ as you – again – do great work during this academic year. I am excited at the potential of us together raising our profile and in doing so to also raising more donations in support of your work.