Record $181.4M Raised Through Campaign for North Carolina A&T

By Staff Report / 04/30/2021 Academic Affairs, University Advancement

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (April 30, 2021) – Bolstered by record alumni giving and 35 corporate and individual donations in excess of $1 million – including a historic $45 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University raised a record $181.4 million in its recently completed eight-year capital campaign.

The total far surpassed both the Campaign for North Carolina A&T’s initial goal of $85 million in 2019 and its stretch goal of $100 million before concluding Dec. 31, 2020. The campaign total is believed to be the largest ever raised by a public, historically Black university (HBCU), and elevates A&T’s total assets under investment as of March 31, including endowment, to $153 million, also the most of any public HBCU.

“More than 21,300 donors took a hard look at North Carolina A&T and invested in its promise and potential. Our students, faculty and academic programs earned those investments, and the total of that generosity is a reflection of the quality of this community of scholars,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “We’re grateful for what this says about our university now, and excited about what it means for our future.”

Launched in 2012, the campaign began to truly hit its stride in FY 2017, when it took in $14.7 million. It has raised $15 million in every fiscal year since, hitting $18.1 million in FY 2020 before exploding in the current fiscal year, in which it has already hit $88 million (for FY 2021, only funds raised or pledged through Dec. 31, 2020 were counted toward the campaign total).   

The Scott gift – a rare, unrestricted donation announced in 2020 – has attracted significant attention, as one of the philanthropist’s two largest single grants in a $410-million year of giving to HBCUs, part of her $6 billion in total philanthropic contributions in 2020.

But it was far from the only sizable gift, as the $35 million gifts illustrated. Funds raised by leading graduates, among 14,837 alumni givers overall, were responsible for making the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics and the John R. and Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences A&T’s first donor-named colleges. In all, alumni accounted for 70 percent of gifts to the campaign.

“It seems as though only yesterday, we were announcing the public phase of the campaign and hoping we might reach $100 million,” said campaign co-chair Royall Mack. “The degree by which we exceeded that total is remarkable, but it is no accident. This is only the beginning of what is possible for North Carolina A&T, and I believe the coming years will bear that out emphatically.”

When A&T launched the campaign in FY 2012, its endowment totaled $28 million. Its combined investments now of $153 million not only reflect the infusion of principal from the capital campaign, but the assets of the A&T Real Estate Foundation, created in recent years to manage the university’s growing land and property holdings.

Campaign donations were not only invested for long-term growth and income from the interest on those endowments, they were poured into current initiatives to support the university’s ambitious strategic plan goals and build on its very public growing momentum. Over the past two years, A&T has moved into the No. 1 national ranking in Money magazine’s annual “Best Colleges” issue, twice been ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s top National Universities, extended its tenure as America’s largest HBCU to a seventh consecutive year and won national championships in football and track.      

Among the new and current initiatives already being supported by campaign gifts:

  • The February One scholarships, merit-based awards named in honor of the legendary A&T Four civil rights activists of 1960. The first class of February One scholars has been admitted this spring for Fall 2021.
  • Two-hundred seventy additional new scholarship funds, many of them supporting multiple awards, in colleges and departments across the university, as well as university-wide student awards.
  • New centers of excellence in product design and advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, health and human sciences, education and the liberal arts. The latter three are wholly new centers being established in the wake of the campaign’s conclusion.
  • Investments in new faculty related to the university’s research mission who typically require start-up funding for laboratory needs, computing infrastructure, graduate student support and more.
  • Visibility initiatives for programs and disciplines of critical strategic importance to the university’s growth and development as a comprehensive land-grant institution and doctoral research university with high activity, as classified by the Carnegie Foundation.

 “Over the past 130 years, North Carolina A&T has developed as a university through serious individual and collective commitment, often charting success despite the availability of public and private investments rather than because of them,” said Willie A. Deese, campaign co-chair. “The funds raised in this campaign are making possible a great many things that some longstanding research universities may take for granted, and the excitement around that makes its own mighty contribution to the success and momentum of our university.

“This campaign has shown us the future of A&T, and it is very bright, indeed.”

Media Contact Information: ucomm@ncat.edu

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