Institutional Advancement

Institutional Advancement undertakes all fund-raising tasks for the University of Pittsburgh, as well as maintaining active involvement with alumni around the world. The impact of Institutional Advancement reaches beyond the traditional development services to advance the University of Pittsburgh in coordination with the needs of the students and faculty of the University's many schools and programs. By seeking essential funds for the University's future from foundations, corporations, alumni, and friends, Institutional Advancement facilitates the University's objectives for the growth and enhancement of its educational resources.

In fiscal year 1999, the University's advancement programs raised $65.4 million in contributions from private sources. Of this total, alumni gave almost $10 million (15.2 percent), corporations gave $11 million (17.1percent), and foundations gave $31 million (47.4 percent). Other individuals and other groups and sources gave $13.3 million (20.3 percent).

Institutional Advancement's 120 staff members also promote and mobilize volunteer activities in support of fund raising, coordinate alumni advocacy efforts, and perform other functions to support the University's mission. Organizations under the direction of Institutional Advancement include the Pitt Ambassadors, the University's major outreach effort to businesses in the region, and the Blue and Gold Society, an organization of outstanding student leaders who represent the University at alumni and community events.

Through the Office of Alumni Relations and the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association, Institutional Advancement promotes mutually productive relationships between the University and its alumni, who number more than 187,000 and who reside in all 50 states and in 119 foreign countries. Alumni Relations seeks to involve increasing numbers of alumni with the University by fostering their continued connection with Pitt after graduation. Institutional Advancement solicits guidance from University alumni and organizes alumni efforts to advance the University. The Alumni Association charters a growing number of Pitt alumni clubs, works to influence government offices to fund and nurture higher education, and assists the University in its efforts to attract and support high-caliber students. Alumni continue to be the main link between the University's past and its future.

Institutional Advancement's Planned Giving department assists friends and alumni in planning major contributions to the University. These contributions can be made through gifts of life insurance, through life income gifts -- in which the University receives a portion and the donor receives a portion for the remainder of his or her life, or through deferred income gifts -- in which gifts given by the donor in the present but not received or used by the University until a future date determined by either a period of years or in the event of the donor's death. The staff of the Planned Giving department help individual donors to wisely invest their money in an area of interest in the University.

The staff of Corporate and Foundation Relations act as liaisons between individuals at the University -- faculty and various other departmental personnel -- and individuals from local, national, and international corporations and foundations. The purpose of this effort is to connect University funding needs with the philanthropic interests of donor organizations. In addition, the University participates in a corporate matching gift program in which numerous corporations match eligible gifts made to the University by their employees.

Activities held in the Heinz Memorial Chapel are administered through Institutional Advancement. The Gothic chapel is famous for its magnificent stained glass windows. A focal point of campus life for students, faculty, staff, and alumni, the Chapel provides a place for worship services, concerts, lectures, memorial services, weddings, and individual reflection and meditation.

The Office of Special Events, also under Institutional Advancement, coordinates all University-wide special programs, bringing professional expertise to the many events held annually at the University. In 1999, one very important event was the inaugural celebration of the University's new Cathedral of Learning Society. Members of this prestigious society, the first of its kind at the University, are distinguished alumni and friends who have made cumulative contributions of $1 million or more over their lifetimes in support of programs, students, and faculty at the University. The University will sponsor an annual formal dinner to induct new members and honor all those whose philanthropy and commitment to excellence in higher education have made lasting contributions at Pitt.

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