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Donations Set Record in 2017-18, with $40.1 million Pledged

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University set a new record for giving with $40.1 million pledged to the university during 2017-18, Chancellor Kelly Damphousse announced at the university’s annual Faculty Conference.

“We stand here today able to assist more students with scholarships thanks to the growing generosity of our community and our alumni,” Damphousse said. “We have more named professorships to provide assistance to research and scholarly work by our faculty. And we broke new ground with our first named college this spring.”

The $40.1 million surpassed the previous mark of $18.4 million raised in 2014-15, and was led by the first eight-figure gift in university history, the $10 million naming of the Neil Griffin College of Business. The university also received major gifts from alumnus Johnny Allison ($5,000,001), Centennial Bank ($5 million) and First National Bank ($5 million).

While four significant gifts generated headlines, the record-breaking year of philanthropy at Arkansas State was across the board as the giving rate of all A-State alumni rose to 9.2 percent.

“The entire pack stepped up for Arkansas State,” Damphousse said. “We are extremely fortunate to have alumni that are devoted to their alma mater, and willing to show that support through charitable gifts. This is yet another area where Every Red Wolf Counts, and for Arkansas State, every gift or pledge of support lifts our institution.”

In the last five years, record or near-record giving to Arkansas State has become common with all five ranking among the top six all-time. A-State received 40 of the top 100 gifts and gift commitments in university history in the last five years.

Arkansas State has 10 new endowed faculty positions, more than doubling the total to 16 campus-wide. The number of endowed scholarships is up more than 40 percent.

“It all indicates a growing faith in Arkansas State’s value to the lives of our alumni and friends and the strength of our role in the state,” Damphousse said to the faculty assembly. “This is the product of the hard work of past administrators and the current faculty, staff and administration. I am proud to have the opportunity to be the chancellor at a university that has that type of commitment both from our friends and our team.”

The scholarship growth is one of the most impactful for students, as the number of privately-funded has grown from 251 to 361 since July 1, 2012.

“The university is grateful for each gift, but I am especially proud of the progress we’ve made to increase the number of scholarship endowments,” said Jason Penry, vice chancellor for university advancement. “These scholarships truly having a lasting impact. A great example is the Mable Symons Woodside Memorial Scholarship. Established in 1989 by alumnus John Woodside, it has been given to 230 students. The gift of education is an investment that truly changes the lives of our students forever. It’s one of the best investments that can be made.”

To learn more about community support for Arkansas State, go to


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