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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Foundation reaches all-time high in private fund raising

New Mexico State University's Foundation raised more than $20 million during the 2003-04 fiscal year, the largest amount ever raised by the Foundation, said Foundation President Tom Mobley.

undation's fund-raising success is due in large part to the efforts of many volunteers," said Rebecca Dukes, vice president for university advancement. "The university is doing a better job of telling its story and our alumni are more aware of the needs the university is facing as state funding continues to shrink as a percentage of the university's total budget."

Private funds are crucial for maintaining high-quality programs providing student scholarships and endowed professorships and assuring excellence for the entire university, she said.

Some of the notable donations in 2003-04 include $1 million from Mountain States Insurance Group for an Insurance Chair in the College of Business Administration and Economics and $2.7 million from the Scarborough-Linebery Foundation for two chairs in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics.

The $20 million total for 2003-04 is a 62 percent increase from the previous year's total of $12.6 million.

Mobley said this historic high in fund raising is due to planning and ground work that has been in the works for more than three years.

"The executive committee of the Foundation is pleased with the expansion of the advancement staff at the university and the training they have received," Mobley said. "They have made the volunteers more aware of the opportunities available for private fund raising and have managed the endowment wisely."

The endowment's investment performance for 2003-04 ranks in the top 2 percent compared with other universities and charities. The portfolio has ranked in the top 14 percent for the past three years. As of June 30 the value of the endowment was $76.1 million.

"The Foundation's investment committee is doing a better job than they ever have at working with the university staff and money managers," Mobley said. "Portfolio management is an ongoing process, but as the portfolio grows so does our ability to invest in other asset classes. We want our donors to know that their gifts are being well managed."

Mobley says the Foundation would like to continue improving the number of gifts from alumni.

"There is still a lot we can do to improve," Mobley says. "I think the Foundation board has two main responsibilities - invest properly and assist the university staff in developing gifts to the university."