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OU community raises largest AUFD gift total in university history

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
OU community raises largest AUFD gift total in university history
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant

Members of the Oakland University community opened their hearts and their wallets over the holiday season, making generous gifts to the 2011 All-University Fund Drive (AUFD).

A total of 539 faculty, staff and retirees contributed $654,420, far exceeding the campaign’s goal of $240,000. With OU President Dr. Gary Russi’s match included, the amount rose to $840,264. This represents the largest AUFD gift total in university history and is more than double the previous year’s mark. 

The campaign produced a number of highlights on the way to record-setting results. For the first time, Dr. Russi approved a match of $5,000 for every planned gift of $10,000 or more, which helped to generate $388,806 in planned gifts.

“This new incentive was a great way to introduce the idea of planned giving to employees,” said Angie Schmucker, Oakland’s director of planned giving. “Dr. Russi’s match was a terrific motivator, too, for people who had been thinking of making a planned gift.”

Additionally, a group of 36 faculty and staff came together in Oakland’s School of Nursing to purchase a bench and a tree in honor of their colleague, Dr. Diane Norris, who passed away last October. The memorial will be located near the Human Health Building set to open this spring on Oakland’s campus.

“The AUFD allows people to contribute to things that are meaningful to them,” said Starr Cornell, director of alumni engagement and annual giving. “That, I believe, is the key to its success.”

Nearly $64,572 was raised for 48 scholarship funds, an $18,500 increase over 2010 figures. Sixty-one donors made “leadership gifts” of $1,000 or more. In all, 202 different gift designations were selected as part of the fund drive, benefiting programs and departments across the university.

The AUFD also raised a combined total of $8,727 for the United Way of Southeastern Michigan and Black United Fund of Michigan.

To learn more about the AUFD, visit the website at