Millikin Breaks Record For Annual Funds

Thanks to the 2,875 people that made donations to Millikin University in the 2014 fiscal year, this is a question that Millikin now gets to answer. A total of $2,782,650.00 was contributed to The Millikin Fund in total commitments, with $2683,367.00 raised in cash alone. This broke the school’s previous record for raising annual funds, which took place in 2009 when total commitments summed up to $2,543,134.00 and $2,525,155.00 was received in cash alone.

So what is Millikin going to do with all of this money? The answer: Help you, the students.

“The Millikin Fund primarily supports operating costs at the university, but the majority of those dollars are used in support of non-endowed student scholarships,” Vice President for Alumni and Development Dave Brandon said. “Historically, more than 95 percent of Millikin graduates receive financial assistance while at Millikin, and the source of that aid is the university.”

In 2014 alone, The Millikin Fund provided $1,501,326 in non-endowed scholarships, allowing many students to begin, continue or complete their Millikin education. On top of this, Millikin also gives roughly $3 million annually in endowed scholarships to students who benefit from financial aids and meet various criteria.

As many of the donations to The Millikin Fund come from alumni, many current Millikin students are benefiting from the generosity of past Millikin students who understand the value of the education that was given to them and seek to make this education a possibility for others.

If you’ve walked through the hallway of Shilling Hall closest to the mailrooms this semester, you have seen evidence that Millikin has effectively proved to ready students for a professional and successful career. Some of Millikin’s most widely known alumni line the walls, who each provide a personal quote about the specific ways in which our school has prepared them for their unique life path.

However, these particular alumni make up only a small portion of the graduated individuals that Millikin has readied for their industry of choice and has helped to shape their personal lives. In turn, the majority of alumni graduated from Millikin are eager to give back to the school that has vastly influenced them for the better.

“We believe the Millikin experience is transformational,” Brandon said. “Such an experience engenders a desire to give back to the institution where their lives were transformed. The Alumni & Development Office has done a good job, I think, of communicating that giving to Millikin provides much needed resources to an institution where performance learning changes lives— and that is a powerful message in this day and age.”

Yet, although this year was a particularly successful one, the fiscal year of 2015 is aimed to be the most ambitious one yet. In addition to direct email, telephone, and social media fund raising, the Alumni & Development Staff is planning hundreds of alumni events, fund raising events, and personal visits.

However, this does not mean that if you are a current student that you are unable to contribute to the efforts to make Millikin a better place for students.

“We try to educate our students on the concept of giving back and paying it forward,” Gina Bianchi, Senior Director of Alumni and Donor Engagement, said. “Having said that, we appreciate when students can make a contribution to an area of campus that is impacting them currently, then carry this giving tradition into their alumni years. One tradition of giving is seen in our Senior Gift program …  [Seniors] are annually charged with raising at least $5,000 to support an initiative, scholarship, program or item that allows their class to leave their name and legacy on campus.”

In addition, students, faculty, members of the Decatur community and all persons interested are free to make a personal contribution at any time.

If you are interested in making a personal gift to the university, please go to the Alumni and Friends page on Millikin’s website and click on the Give Back To Millikin tab on the right side or send a gift check to the Millikin Fund at the Alumni & Development Center, 1184 W Main St. Decatur, IL 62522. If you wish to make a gift of appreciated securities, please call the Alumni & Development Office at 217-424-6383.