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Column: Georgia State University raises record $38.3 million last year

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Friday, July 19, 2013

Georgia State University has just completed its best fundraising year ever.

The university raised $38.3 million during the 2012-2013 fiscal year — surpassing its previous record of $35.3 million set in 1999.

It’s an important year for Georgia State, which is celebrating its centennial in 2013.

“This is an inspiring reminder of just how strong Georgia State’s support is from the community,” GSU President Mark Becker said in the university’s announcement of the record-setting fundraising year. “And to receive that reminder during our centennial year makes it all the more meaningful.”

Walter Massey, vice president for development at Georgia State and president of the Georgia State Foundation, said the public recognition of the 100-year milestone “brought Georgia State to the forefront of people’s minds where it may not have been in the past.”

One of the highlights of the past year came from the College of Law, which tripled its fundraising goal — raising enough money to begin construction on its new building.

The project received a $5 million gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation as well as major gifts from law alumna Catherine Henson and former Dean Marjorie Knowles.

The university also received major gifts to the School of Music by Aileen and Christopher Valianos and to the Neuroscience Institute by the John Templeton Foundation.

Nearly $5 million more will go toward scholarships, including a $600,000 legacy gift from business school alumnus William B. White and $500,000 from alumna Helen Aderhold.

“This year has been about looking back on what we’ve achieved and the student success we’ve helped foster for the past 100 years,” Becker said, “but it’s also been about charting a course for the next 100 years of success.”

National Christian Foundation

The Atlanta-based National Christian Foundation hit a major milestone on July 10 when its total giving to charities topped $4 billion since 1982.

Most of the foundation’s giving has occurred in recent years. In its first decade, it gave away $12 million in grants. In its second decade, that increased to $447 million. And in its third decade, the foundation has given away more than $3.5 million.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy named the foundation as the 19th-largest charity in the United States in 2012.

“Over the past 30 years, we have worked to build a foundation to help simplify giving and multiply the impact,” said David Willis, president of the National Christian Foundation. “This is just the latest milestone in the modern-day Christian generosity movement, and we’re excited to play a part in this historic time of giving.”

The recipient of the four billionth grant dollar was AFCM International, which will use the money to support an orphanage in Thailand that provides housing and schooling for children rescued from the sex trade.

Metro Chamber CEO search

The search for a new president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber is gaining steam.

The search committee, working with consultant Joe Goodwin, is in the process of collecting names of potential candidates, according to Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers, who is the 2013 chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

Although the focus is on people who are familiar with the business and political community in Atlanta and Georgia, Bowers said national candidates also could be considered.

In addition to Bowers, the other members of the search committee are Carol Tomé, Home Depot’s chief financial officer (2012 chair); Richard Anderson, Delta Air Lines CEO (2014 chair); John Brock, Coca-Cola Enterprises CEO (2011 chair); Jenner Wood, CEO of SunTrust Bank Atlanta; Donna Hyland, CEO of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; and Sylvia Russell, CEO of AT&T Georgia.

Bowers said the search committee hopes to have a new executive in place by the end of the year, when Sam Williams, who has been president of the chamber for 17 years, is planning to retire.

GRA honors Chambliss

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss received special recognition in Washington, D.C., on July 10 when the Georgia Research Alliance and the Georgia Department of Economic Development honored him as the first “Legacy Award” winner for his continued support of the state’s research universities.

Members of Georgia’s congressional delegation, leaders of GRA, the Department of Economic Development and the presidents of Georgia’s major research universities were in attendance.

“Research is the heart and soul of our economy,” said Chambliss, who is not running for re-election, upon receiving the award. “The research we are doing today may not pay off in a year or two years, but ensures that 20 years from now the United States of America remains the greatest nation in the world.”

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.



  1. moliere July 26, 2013 11:35 am

    Go Georgia State. (And Georgia Tech too.) Having two legitimate nationally recognized research universities downtown would do wonders for the city economically, culturally and reputation wise. I still say that Georgia State needs more dorms though.Report

  2. Brian July 27, 2013 7:34 am

    Fact check: The National Cristian Foundation is NOT the National Christian Science Foundation.Report


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