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Drury fundraising tops prior year by 25%

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Drury University’s 2016-17 fundraising rose by 25 percent compared with the prior academic year.

The $9.4 million in gifts and commitments bested the 2015-16 total of $7.5 million, according to a news release.

“Over the past year, we’ve made an effort to increase engagement with alumni on several fronts, including through events in Springfield and around the country that have been well attended,” said Wayne Chipman, Drury’s executive vice president for advancement, in the release. “The dollar amounts are wonderful to see, but above all else I am truly pleased to see so many fellow Drury alumni reconnecting with our alma mater.”

Planned gifts were the largest contributor. They totaled $4.3 million, up 432 percent from $805,000 in the previous academic year. Drury spokesman Mike Brothers said the increase was due to a larger focus on solicitations for planned gifts.

Like Drury, the Missouri State University Foundation posted a fiscal 2017 increase in fundraising dollars to $19.5 million from $18 million a year earlier.

Enrollment growth
Both Drury and Missouri State universities posted higher opening day enrollments this week.

At Drury, the student count when classes started yesterday was 1,425, a nearly 4 percent increase from last year’s total. The school’s incoming freshman class has 460 students. Also, Drury recorded a 90 percent retention rate for returning students, according to a news release.

MSU set an Aug. 21 opening day enrollment record of 21,351 students. That’s up 1.2 percent from the first day of the fall 2016 semester, according to a separate release.

At Ozarks Technical Community College, opening day enrollment decreased by 2.3 percent to 12,322, said spokesman Mark Miller.

"We continue to see the effects of a strong economy impacting our enrollment," he said via email. "Low unemployment means nontraditional students are in the workforce and not seeking education."

Officials with other Springfield-area colleges were unable to immediately provide enrollment totals this morning.

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