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Chapman University Bucking the Trend of Flat Giving in 2020

Amy Stevens
Director of Public Relations
(657) 390-6760

A recent survey found 65 Percent of Colleges Raised Less in 2020 Than 2019 but the advancement team at Chapman University was able to have one of its best fundraising years ever, despite of (or possibly because of) the pandemic challenges. Thanks to the generosity of several major endowments and gifts, along with a rise in first-time donors who supported a variety of calls for support, we were able to raise more than $50 million.

These gifts allowed the university to support urgent student needs brought about because of COVID, expand buildings and programs that support STEAM programs, and create several endowed chair positions. The funds were raised through a virtual Giving Day event and the quickly pivoting University Advancement team who were able to adjust their strategies that typically rely on an in-person gala and in-person outreach.

Major gifts included

  • $12.9 Million: Ron and Sandi Simon for Sandi Simon Center for Dance, Simon Physician Assistant Scholarships and endowment of the Simon STEM Scholars at Orange High School
  • $10 Million: Anonymous gift for expansion of Hilbert Museum of California Art
  • $5.5 Million: Anonymous bequest to endow teaching fellowships in Attallah College of Educational Studies
  • $5 Million: Swenson Family Foundation for Swenson Family Hall of Engineering
  • $4 Million: Doy B. Henley for Doy B. Henley Endowed Chair in American Presidential Studies to be held by inaugural chairholder Dr. Lori Cox Han, a presidential studies scholar and author. Also funds Doy B. Henley Endowed Director in STEM-MBA Studies
  • $2.4 Million: Clifford R. Stark Residual Trust gift to establish merit-based Stark Scholarship
  • $2 Million: James H. and Esther M. Cavanaugh for James H. Cavanaugh Endowed Chair in Presidential Studies, to be held by Dr. Luke Nichter, an author and scholar of American history
  • $1.5 Million: Anonymous bequest to establish endowments for experiential learning and merit scholarships for students in Argyros School of Business and Economics, plus an endowment for Leatherby Libraries
  • $1 Million: Potamkin Family for CU Safely Back Fund to help address urgent needs
  • $1 Million: Lorrilyn Fetherolf Trust to establish Fetherolf Broadcast Journalism Endowment at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

Please contact Amy Stevens at to be connected with our team for more information about their successful strategies and what this will mean for current and future students at Chapman University.

Link to: Chapman University Newsroom Story

Amy Stevens

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