In my first year as president, I spent much of my time learning more about Goucher and getting to know our students, faculty, staff, alumnae/i, and friends of the college. What I quickly realized is that the core values on which Goucher College was founded remain the same today. I also was struck with the strong sense of community and generosity demonstrated across campus and among our alumnae/i. The 2014-15 fiscal year was significant in many ways.
To honor and memorialize Goucher’s eighth president, we created the Dr. Rhoda M. Dorsey Scholars Program, an exclusive leadership program that offers students with exceptional leadership skills a scholarship above and beyond other academic awards they may receive. This program was designed to allow students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills both on and off campus. Thanks to many generous donors to this program, we welcomed nine Dorsey Scholars to Goucher this past fall.
We held our first Distinguished Alumnae and Alumni Awards and Inaugural Gala last spring in conjunction with Alumnae/i Weekend. This event allowed us to honor the significant accomplishments of some of our most notable alumnae/i. What’s more, the college raised $69,541 from this event to support scholarships—a vital resource to the college because 86 percent of our students receive some type of financial aid.
The #GoucherChallenge, held on May 1, was the single most successful day of fundraising in the college’s history. Within 24 hours, we raised $1,437,744 from 2,043 donors to support various initiatives and programs on campus. But what I’m most proud of was the Goucher pride demonstrated on campus and on social media throughout the day.
Overall, the college received $7,675,027 in gifts from generous alumnae/i, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of the college during the 2014-15 fiscal year. Alumnae/i participation increased by 6 percent, while 87 percent of faculty and 67 percent of staff made a gift to the college. This generosity, once again, demonstrates the unique character of Goucher.
In the Goucher tradition, we will continue to embed excellence in all we do, with a deep focus on student success. The entire college community is committed to challenging, supporting, and inspiring our students, while also providing them with the crucial tools and resources necessary to be bold leaders and innovative leaders of the future.
The pages that follow demonstrate our accomplishments and news from the 2014-15 fiscal year. As we continue to make a difference in the lives of all of our students, we remain grateful to so many who support our efforts with their philanthropy.
José Antonio Bowen, President
Financial Results for Fiscal Year:
June 30, 2015, marked the end of President José Antonio Bowen’s exciting first year. During that time, he directed the college’s human and financial resources toward a number of strategic initiatives meant to secure Goucher’s future as a leader among small liberal arts colleges.
Under President Bowen’s leadership, Goucher’s contribution revenues grew by $738,000 to $8.12 million. The president partnered with our dedicated and generous trustees and alumnae/i to raise about $2 million in gifts for a Strategic Initiatives Fund, which provided resources to improve Goucher’s appeal in a number of ways.
First, prospective and current students, faculty, and staff now enjoy campus-wide wireless Internet access. Second, the college engaged a number of experts in their fields to develop a plan to update the college’s aging student housing and dining facilities. And third, the funds were used to overhaul the college’s webpage to work better with mobile devices and to expand on how we market Goucher’s strengths.
President Bowen directed resources to improve retention and to enhance admissions and enrollment operations. Reinvigorated engagement and outreach efforts conducted during the summer of 2014 were successful at retaining the Fall 2014 class of undergraduate students. This resulted in growth of $696,000 in Goucher’s net tuition, fees, and auxiliary revenues to $48 million, or about two-thirds of the college’s total revenues.
The Board of Trustees approved President Bowen’s request for an increase in endowment payout. The increase in the spend rate and growth in the endowment’s average market value added $1.9 million more than last year. The additional funds supported numerous college, including many forms of student financial aid. It is worth noting that current giving and endowment support from prior gifts comprise more than a quarter of the college’s total revenues.
Positive fundraising results, growth in student-related revenues, and increased support from the endowment resulted in total revenue growth of 5% to $70.4 million.
Overall, Goucher’s expenses rose 1%. Expenses encompass a number of strategic investments in admissions and enrollment personnel, process improvements, and partnerships with industry experts aimed at growing enrollments over the years to come.