A message from Michael C. Eicher
Michael Eicher

I am thrilled by how much we achieved during the past year. During fiscal year 2014, we engaged a record 233,185 donors and raised $404M, second only to 2011 when we received a $100M gift from the Wexners. We secured $14M more than our goal and increased our donor base by 69,831 new donors, which was no easy feat, especially during a presidential transition. The numbers alone are incredible, but even more so are the constituents we inspired and the countless lives impacted by our work.

Our accomplishments are all worth celebrating, and I want to share some highlights. University Communications continued to unify Ohio State. They defined a One University digital strategy that will enable constituents to more deeply understand and engage with the university via mobile applications. Communications is solidifying our institutional positioning through a national brand reputation-building strategy and implementing an external marketing plan. Also of note, the team coordinated the announcement and welcome of our 15th president, Dr. Michael V. Drake. During late January, we reached more than 420,000 people and had more than 150,000 potential media views from 200 news outlets. Thanks to this Advancement-led welcome, Dr. Drake assumed leadership with the great support of our alumni and friends.

The year was also remarkable for the ways in which our team deepened its engagement with alumni. A total of 73,737 alumni contributed nearly $70M, which is a two percent increase in our number of alumni donors. Our annual giving grew by more than 15 percent, driven primarily by online giving strategies. Now in its second year, the Bill and Susan Lhota Office of Alumni Career Management has expanded its reach to help job-seeking alumni make professional connections. The Alumni Association strengthened connections through our affiliated clubs and societies, and also launched an innovative volunteer recruitment program to help increase involvement with various areas of need around the university.

I am excited to report that 14 colleges and units exceeded their fiscal goals. It was a record fundraising year for Engineering, FAES, Fisher, The James, OSU Mansfield, and WOSU. Social Work secured a $2M challenge grant—its largest single contribution ever—from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and Fisher had a stellar year, raising $22.6M against their $18M goal. Impressively, the Alumni Association, Law, Nursing, Student Life, and University Libraries have already exceeded their campaign goals.

Advancement is made up of a talented team of individuals who truly understand that our invaluable supporters make Ohio State the successful and innovative institution we revere. I am proud to be a part of a group that consistently surpasses even our most ambitious goals. Thank you for passionately advancing Ohio State.