Southern wraps up giving campaign; sees bump in enrollment numbers

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Southern University's Give Day came to an end Friday.

School officials and volunteers made more than 1,000 calls throughout the day and raised roughly $75,000 for the effort since Friday morning, on top of the nearly $3.8 million they've raised since January.

Lynn Howard, director of annual funds for the school, says the energy has been high for much of the day from both volunteers and those alumni, donors, and supporters that they've called.

Friday's event is a culmination of the annual Million Dollar March campaign, the largest fundraising effort for the school.

Howard is leading the charge and says the final push for funds is electric.

"It's a week before homecoming and we're all just pulling together and we're really excited about giving for SU Give Day," said Howard.

Howard says it is important to reach out to their supporters and remind them of the value of their gift to the school. "We do it because the students need it and the faculty members need it," said Howard. "This goes to scholarship support, grant research, and all the various campus-wide initiatives."

It does not just stop at the Baton Rouge campus; the money raised during the event benefits the entire Southern system.

The school was placed on warning by its accrediting agency earlier this year for problems largely due to budget cuts from the state. Howard says the donations are vital in helping fill some of those funding holes.

"We are not tied to a specific cause and we have more leeway to support the university and the various campuses when they have short-fallings in their budget," said Howard.

The extra money will definitely come in handy at the university now as the school sees a bump in enrollment. This fall, the school saw a 70 percent increase from this time last year. New student enrollment jumped 13 percent and transfer student numbers rose by 5 percent.

Shaquille Dillon with the recruitment office says their new strategies have really paid off.

"From campus tours to going to recruitment fairs and even having alumni recruiters that go out and recruit students to come to the Jaguar nation," Dillon added.

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