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In the midst of the most ambitious campus revitalization initiative in the institution’s history, Eastern Kentucky University recently concluded a record year for private support.

The University finished the fiscal year that concluded June 30 with $8.9 million in gifts and commitments, a nearly 100 percent increase over the previous year. Included in the total were $4.4 million in cash and in-kind gifts, a 10 percent increase; and $4.5 million in new multi-year pledges and deferred gift commitments.

“The need for private support has never been greater, and it is gratifying and reassuring to see our alumni and friends respond at this level,” said EKU President Michael Benson. “This is an exciting and pivotal time at Eastern, and it is because of the generosity of our supporters that we can confidently say the best is yet to come.”

Donors supported a wide variety of projects, including faculty and academic initiatives, scholarships and facility construction and renovation.

Notable gifts included a $1 million pledge from Ron and Sherrie Lou Noel to support faculty and student research as well as an expansion of the University’s athletics strength and conditioning center, a $1 million pledge from Maribeth and Louis Berman to support a combination of academic and student-focused initiatives, a $500,000 gift from Paul and Deborah Chellgren to endow the Chellgren Success Series at EKU’s new Student Success Center, and an anonymous $1 million bequest for undergraduate student scholarships.

“Our donors are making generous philanthropic investments in EKU’s people, places and programs,” said Nick Perlick, vice president for development alumni relations. “The result, ultimately, is an enhanced experience for our students.

“Thanks to visionary leadership, devoted volunteers and a committed staff, we are experiencing significant growth in fundraising that will continue to strengthen EKU,” Perlick continued. “We extend our sincere thanks to the wonderful donors who are making this possible.”

Donors wishing to support Eastern can choose from among a variety of methods, including on-line giving, planned giving, securities, tangible personal property or, of course, cash, check or credit card. For more information, visit