Copy Desk Chief
In the years 2020 and 2021, the university’s Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics was one of the top three recipients from alumni donors, amassing $686,631, according to the university’s report on philanthropy.
The Annual Giving drive is just a part of the total of $9.7 million raised for Lerner in 2020-21 and 2021-22.
The Lerner College was established in 1917, with currently about 34,000 alumni worldwide. Of the university’s 18,618 undergraduate students, about 3,330 of them are enrolled in the Lerner College. They house five academic departments, 17 undergraduate majors and 10 centers, including the Venture Development Center for entrepreneurship, the JPMorgan Chase Innovation Center, Marriott Center for tourism and hospitality, Vita Nova Restaurant and the Michael and Rosann Geltzeiler Trading Center.
The Geltzeiler Trading Center is a hallmark of Lerner College and was established by Michael, an alumnus of the university, and Rosann Geltzeiler who made a $1.5 million commitment to its creation. Many students know it as the hub of the Blue Hen Investment Club, which handles an investment fund of about $3.3 million.
“I’ve always wanted to be in Lerner, they have the Blue Hen Investment Club, and it’s not something every school has,” senior finance major Regan Landrigan said. “Ever since I was a freshman I wanted to be in it, it was one of the reasons why I came here.”
For bachelor’s degree earners in the Lerner College, between 2019-2021, 81% were employed, 12% were continuing education and 6% were seeking employment. The average salary for students coming out of the Lerner College was $56,174, ranging between $48,000 to $65,000 with a median salary of $58,000.
Landrigan described an opportunity where he was able to go to New York City and network with alumni working in firms there.
“The alumni really look out for you,” Landrigan said. “The people that are from Lerner in New York City right now, they really look to take care of other Blue Hens, which is huge within this industry.”
Outside of alumni donating their time, the salary numbers post-graduation can help understand whether alumni have the means to donate monetarily to their alma mater.
“We average in Lerner about $6 to 12 million a year in gifts coming in from 34,000 living alumni of our college,” Bruce Weber, dean of the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics, said. “The university has gifts coming in for different purposes and then even within those, there are gifts that come in that are restricted. For instance, a graduate might give a scholarship, so the scholarship money has to be spent specifically for scholarships.”
Weber explained that many opportunities for students are often paid for by external sponsors, and not in fact the central university fund.
KPMG conducted the university’s annual financial audit for 2020 and 2021. Based on the statements, in 2021 the university received $416 million in tuition, $53 million in endowment distributions and $125 million in funding from the state. Combined endowment distribution and contributions without donor restrictions were $407 million.
“The tuition, as high as it is, doesn’t pay the full cost of the university,” Weber said. “Less than half of the total revenue is the tuition revenue.”