Penn State University has received more than $208 million as funds from the alumni and friends during the past fiscal year.
The announcement has come as a sign of respite for the university amidst the ongoing controversy about the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse that has marred the university's reputation.
The money collected as funds is the second highest amount in the history of the university. "Penn State's alumni and friends have remained steadfast in their support of our students and faculty," said Rodney P. Kirsch, senior vice president for development and alumni relations, said in a statement released by the university.
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"We are grateful to the scores of donors who, through incredibly difficult circumstances, have supported our students and our institution in record numbers. Through their philanthropy, our benefactors will help to confirm Penn State's leadership in higher education," he added.
More than 190,000 donors have supported the university by providing 323,271 gifts. As many as 75,593 alumni contributed more than $70.9 million in scholarships and other philanthropic support. But the amount collected for 2011-2012 is lesser than what they received in 2010 when the school raised $274 million.
One of the biggest contributors in 2010 was Terrence Pegula, founder of a natural gas drilling company, who contributed $88 million for constructing and developing a state-of-the art ice hockey arena in Penn State.
Despite the university's reputation marred with the arrest of Jerry Sandusky, the university's football assistant coach, who is indicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse, Pegula looked unperturbed and announced to increase his contribution to $102 million to support the university's hockey players.
During the groundbreaking of the Pegula Ice Arena on April 20, Terrence said he was increasing the funds to support the rising stars of hockey. "We hope that through these scholarships, Penn State will be able to build a team of rising hockey stars who will succeed athletically and academically at the University," Pegula said.
We also want to make sure that these young people have a facility which will allow them to fulfill their potential and be the best possible representatives of the University and Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics," he added.
The university began its future campaign for the students in 2007 to avail support from alumni and friends. So far, it has received $1.6 billion and is ahead of its schedule to gather $2 billion on funds by June 2014.
Penn State University was established in 1855 as an agricultural college and continued to broaden its horizons introducing many academic disciplines. The college offers several courses for undergraduate, graduate and professional students.