Making Our Tomorrow Stronger

UNI alumni and friends make history in their support of the University of Northern Iowa

The 2019-2020 fiscal year brought unexpected challenges to our world and UNI. Alumni and friends of the university demonstrated the Panther family is determined to ensure future generations of Panthers will be supported in their quest for a UNI education, giving a record $38.9 million to the university.

“We are extremely grateful for the support and passion our alumni and friends have for the University of Northern Iowa and our students," said Jim Jermier, vice president for University Advancement and president of the UNI Foundation.

Fundraising in the 2019-20 fiscal year increased 37% over the prior year, exceeding 2018-19 fundraising by $10.4 million. Annual contributions to the UNI Foundation over the past five years have averaged nearly $26 million. In total, 10,313 donors, corporations and foundations gave to support UNI during the year.

“We are here to foster student success and help each individual reach their academic, professional and personal life goals. It’s at the core of everything we do at UNI. Fortunately, members of the Panther family recognize that, too, and have responded with extraordinary support.”

-UNI President Mark A. Nook

During fiscal year 2020, $5.3 million in scholarship support was awarded by the UNI Foundation to 1,711 students.

When COVID-19 pushed classes online in the spring semester, the foundation responded with a campaign to support UNI’s Student Emergency Fund, Panther Pantry and scholarships for those impacted financially by the pandemic. On Giving Tuesday Now, a national day of giving held in May 2020 by the Giving Tuesday movement to support organizations helping those dealing with coronavirus related hardships, more than 500 people donated a combined $50,000 for the #UNItogether Scholarships fund. Funds raised were distributed this fall in scholarships to students affected by the pandemic.

In addition to raising funds for scholarship and program support, the foundation focused on several larger university projects. The foundation is actively fundraising for the estimated $14.9 million renovation and expansion of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. Groundbreaking is slated for 2022.

The newly launched UNI at DMACC 2+2 program will benefit from a $5 million fundraising campaign to support scholarships and the building fund for Des Moines Area Community College’s Urban Campus where the program is housed.

“Donors to the UNI Foundation are critical in our efforts to grow the Purple Circle,” Nook said. “Gifts to UNI also help enhance the university’s impact throughout Iowa, across the country and around the world.”




Direct support provided to help the university fulfill its mission


Of the foundation's support to the university funded academic and co-curricular programs in the 2019-2020 academic year


Of the foundation's support to the university provided financial support to students in the 2019-2020 academic year


Donors, corporations and foundations gave to support UNI


Students received a scholarship because of gifts made to the UNI Foundation

Fundraising Results
Fiscal year ending June 30, 2020

$38,901,165 was raised in fiscal year 2019-2020

Fundraising by Gift Type
Fiscal year ending June 30, 2020

Program support - $14.49 million, Scholarship support - $10.8 million, Unrestricted - $6.9 million, Capital projects - $6 million, Fellowship & professorships - $714,286