“When we hit the $50 million mark, we had achieved 83 percent of the campaign’s goal in only 54 percent of the campaign’s timeframe,” said Kevin Braswell, vice president for university advancement. “We are on track to meet our goal well ahead of schedule, which will allow us to raise additional funds for the campaign’s three focus areas and to work to support other key areas that merit investment.”
The Tennessee Tech Tomorrow campaign, which has raised $51.8 million so far, is focused on raising funds for scholarships, campus expansion and endowed faculty positions. The campaign has received more than 28,412 gifts from 10,786 donors, 58 percent of whom are alumni donors.
“As the university grows to fulfill its mission as the state’s premier technological university, we continue to emphasize student success through scholarships, facilities and faculty,” said Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham. “The fact that so many people are joining us in building the Tennessee Tech of tomorrow is exciting, and I am grateful to each and every one of the donors.”
The total funds raised include $13.4 million cash, $13.9 million gifts-in-kind, $3.9 million in pledges, and $17.8 million in new planned gifts. Planned giving is where donors provide for long-term needs of the university and its programs through estate planning, bequests and charitable trusts.
Of the total raised, $10.5 million is going towards student scholarships. One such scholarship created during the campaign is the Dinah Pistole Bivens Scholarship, which was established by Steve Bivens to remember his wife, who passed away in 2015.
“Steve and his sons, Brian and Mike, came to Tech in July 2015 to meet the first recipient of the scholarship, Hannah Hawkins, an incoming freshman secondary education major from White County,” Braswell said.
“They brought photos of Dinah to share with Hannah. Hannah reminded Steve of Dinah in many ways. Hannah is from White County; Dinah was born in White County. Hannah is majoring in secondary education; Dinah was a teacher for many years before becoming a guidance counselor,” Braswell explained. “Steve and Hannah became Facebook friends to keep in touch. Her entire college career has been supported, both financially and through the support of Mr. Bivens’ friendship, because the Bivens family chose to remember Dinah through a scholarship at Tech.”
According to Braswell, donors give to Tech because they believe in the university and its mission. As for alumni, they are grateful for the education they received and the experiences they had at Tech and wish to give back.
“With 90 of Tennessee’s 95 counties, and 49 of 50 states, represented in the donor list, there’s a sense of community that comes with being part of the campaign, part of a bigger effort that is shaping the future of this university,” Braswell said. “It feels good to be a part of that.”
The campaign is scheduled to run through 2021.
For more information on the campaign, visit tntech.edu/tomorrow or contact University Advancement at (931) 372-3206.