Before fiscal year 2014 gets too far underway, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate our Advancement success in fiscal year 2013. We exceeded our $360 million fundraising goal; we publicly launched our $2.5 billion campaign; we united under a single and striking visual identity; and we opened our doors to each and every alumnus in the world. This is a big deal!

From July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013, we connected 228,297 donors to their passions at Ohio State, leading them to contribute $374,106,276 to the students, faculty, and programs at the core of this University. That is roughly $14 million more than our goal, and 16,500 more donors than in fiscal year 2012. There is no doubt we are on an upward trajectory, and I thank you for your efforts in putting us on that track.

On October 4, 2012, the But for Ohio State Campaign launched with trumpets blaring, literally. It was a memorable night for Buckeyes set to the soundtrack of The Best Damn Band in the Land, and best of all, it promoted a noble cause. As Chairman Schottenstein said, “The But for Ohio State Campaign is about those of us who have been touched by this institution paying forward to help those who will follow. It is about fully realizing what this University is capable of doing, what it is capable of being. It is about being eminent.” And eminent we shall be, in large part thanks to you.

Perhaps more anticipated than the public launch of the campaign, the new calendar year brought with it our new visual identity. In January 2013, we rolled out a revised logo and seal uniting The Ohio State University’s look with a simple and immediately recognizable mark – the Block O. As the rolling adoption continues, you as early advocates of the new identity are speeding this process along. Eventually, the mark will become our signature, and our signature will represent our incomparable status as the world’s preeminent public comprehensive university.

As a result of this rising status, we expect alumni will seek to engage with Ohio State in broader and deeper ways. We are ready for them. As of July 1, 2012, each and every Ohio State alumnus is a member of the Alumni Association. The phrase “once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye” is absolutely true now. The Alumni Association began this year to streamline outreach strategies and create a unified approach to engaging alumni so that its members genuinely feel they are a part of the University and have a stake in its success.

YOU did this and more in just a year. You are a tremendous group and I am very much looking forward to seeing what we do together in fiscal year 2014.

Congratulations!

Michael C. Eicher
Senior Vice President for Advancement
President, The Ohio State University Foundation