St. Bonaventure University

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St. Bonaventure University posts record-breaking fundraising year

Jun 15, 2021


In response to a challenging year, the St. Bonaventure University community rallied together to raise a stunning $2.992 million for The Bonaventure Fund, making the 2021 fiscal year the most successful in unrestricted annual giving in the university’s history.

From enduring the loss of beloved University President Dr. Dennis R. DePerro to facing a million-dollar price tag for COVID compliance measures, the tumultuous events of the past year posed a threat to the university. Alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends stepped up to help, with more than 5,200 donors contributing to The Bonaventure Fund between June 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021. 

“We came through like Bonnies,” said Dr. Joseph Zimmer, acting president, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Solid engagement from our community has made all the difference.” 

The Bonaventure Fund supplies critical support for the university’s current needs. During the past fiscal year, gifts to the fund helped provide expanded scholarship and financial aid packages for families who continue to face upheaval brought on by the pandemic. It also provided technology solutions that enabled faculty and students to transition to online and hybrid learning.

The university has enjoyed significant success in the fundraising realm, with 17 percent of alumni contributing to the university annually, one of the highest levels of alumni fundraising participation of colleges and universities in Western New York.

“Our community members are impressive and their loyalty is legendary,” said Bob Van Wicklin, vice president for University Advancement. “They care about today’s students and want to ensure not only financial stability for the university but financial vibrancy.”

During the 2020-2021 fiscal year, St. Bonaventure also:

• Raised $17 million overall for the university;

• Enjoyed the support of 1,234 Devereux and Young Grotto Society members;

• Celebrated the first-ever Franciscan Faceoff during Bona Giving Day, a 24-hour fundraising event that generated 1,641 donations, welcomed 110 new donors and totaled $403,505;

• Reached $162,000 for the Dr. Dennis R. DePerro Memorial Scholarship recently established by the DePerro family;

• Increased overall Bonaventure Fund donors by 608; and

• Awarded more than 550 scholarships.

About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2020, St. Bonaventure was named the #2 regional university value in New York and #3 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.