McIntire Community Achieves Commerce School Fundraising Records

A landmark year provides significant momentum for the School’s upcoming Inspire the Next Century campaign
July 25, 2019
Rouss Hall

The McIntire School of Commerce exceeded its fiscal year 2019 goal by securing more than $13 million in cash gifts to support the McIntire Annual Fund, Centennial Fund for Faculty Excellence, Next Century Building Fund, Corporate Partners Program, and other restricted funds. The School also recorded a monumental $29.4 million in new commitments, supplying additional momentum to its Inspire the Next Century campaign, which launches publicly this October in advance of McIntire’s 100th anniversary in 2021.

“This year’s remarkable philanthropy from alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends strengthens our efforts and helps to ensure that the School maintains its leadership position in global business education,” said McIntire Dean Carl Zeithaml. “The generous investments of the McIntire community provide essential funds that elevate the prominence of our programs and empower us to innovate them, providing our students with exceptional learning experiences.”

Continued Annual Fund Growth
Surpassing its goal for an incredible 18th consecutive year, the McIntire School set a new Annual Fund record in 2018-2019. With support from more than 3,000 donors, this year’s Annual Fund exceeded last year’s total of $4.3 million to reach $4.5 million, a 6% increase.

Annual leadership gifts to the School from McIntire Dean’s Society members increased in 2018-2019, with a record 533 members contributing $2,500 or more (or $1,000 or more for young alumni). These leadership gifts are instrumental in maintaining and enhancing McIntire’s globally renowned excellence across all of its programs and services.

Essential to the creation and expansion of the School’s innovative programs, the McIntire Annual Fund allows for the ongoing enhancement and updating of its top-ranked undergraduate program, including the School’s hallmark Integrated Core Experience (ICE). Unrestricted gifts to the Annual Fund also allow for the development of groundbreaking graduate degree programs like the three-continent, three-institution M.S. in Global Commerce; the M.S. in Business Analytics, a first-of-its-kind partnership between McIntire and the Darden School of Business; and the M.S. in Commerce, which was recently ranked by The Economist as the #1 U.S.-based master’s in management program.

Likewise, the Annual Fund enables the School to offer students exceptional resources, such as unrivaled career and student services, cutting-edge technology, and outstanding support staff—all of which offer employers of McIntire graduates immediate value.

Crucial Steps Forward
Total commitments for the upcoming Inspire the Next Century campaign currently top more than $99.3 million, accounting for an encouraging 40% of the long-term $250 million campaign goal. Matches from the University’s Strategic Investment Fund are creating additional impact of $12.8 million.  

Fundraising efforts helped secure a substantial portion of one of the campaign’s cornerstone endowments: the $100 million Centennial Fund for Faculty Excellence. The $37 million committed to the Centennial Fund thus far represents gifts that will support the School’s preeminent faculty in perpetuity, safeguarding recruitment, retention, research, and student engagement.

Contributions to the Centennial Fund support endeavors that ensure McIntire’s continued development in highly important areas, such as the Global Challenges Initiative. With a goal of $25 million for permanent faculty, research, and program support exclusive to global commerce, this fund will assist the Commerce School in its ongoing mission to innovate curriculum, provide students with transformational immersive global experiences, and produce thought leadership and research partnerships with real-world and academic relevance around the world.

The Centennial Fund also contains the McIntire Alternative Investing Initiative (MAII), with a total goal of $15 million for a rigorous academic and experiential educational program that explores business through the lens of alternative investments. Established with a $5 million gift from John P. Connaughton (McIntire ’87) and Stephanie F. Connaughton—and matched with $3.3 million from the University’s Bicentennial Professors Fund—the Connaughton Alternative Investing Professorship Fund aims to shape the curricula in this field, attract academic scholars and industry professionals, and offer students real-world experiences and career opportunities.

Strong Corporate Support
Zeithaml also recognized the invaluable involvement and generosity of the School’s corporate sponsors, as well as the many ways McIntire students and faculty benefit from these close partnerships. For the 2019 fiscal year, the McIntire Corporate Partners Program yielded unrestricted cash gifts totaling $507,700, grew the number of new corporate donors by 25%, and welcomed new ICE sponsor Margaritaville. Corporate giving provided student travel scholarships and funded the School’s Careers in Finance series; it also supported McIntire’s Centers of Excellence initiatives to expand research opportunities, enhance data resources for faculty and students, and host a Finance Professional Speaker Series.

“Corporate support is essential to sustaining McIntire’s thriving culture of innovation and inspirational business leadership,” Zeithaml noted. “McIntire’s third-year core curriculum, ICE, for example, is reliant on corporate sponsorship, because it allows students to work closely with a company to develop a comprehensive plan for addressing a business issue in a real-world context and to learn from the invaluable experience of receiving direct feedback from invested professionals.”

Lasting Impact
“Contributions to each of McIntire’s key priorities are an investment in the School’s future, making a positive, lasting impact for the next century and beyond,” Zeithaml said. “Throughout my tenure as Dean, I have repeatedly seen the tremendous generosity of our community firsthand, and I offer sincere thanks once again for your unwavering loyalty and outstanding commitment.”