Thanks to community giving, TU has already raised $75M through historic campaign

November 22, 2021

RISE, the Campaign for Towson University, thrives thanks to everyday heroes


Thanks to support from gifts of all sizes from the TU community, giving has already surpassed 75 percent of the historic $100 million goal in support of key initiatives through RISE, the Campaign for Towson University.

Launched just seven months ago, RISE has been supported by a series of landmark gifts and the generous giving of “everyday heroes.”

With the season of giving underway, TU is grateful for the generosity of all of its community members.

"Since we publicly launched RISE in April, our TU community has come together with gifts of all sizes," said Brian DeFilippis, vice president for university advancement. "This campaign is historic for its size and scope and gives everyone the opportunity to RISE with TU for the future, no matter the size of their gift. Everyone matters and every gift matters."

The six priorities of the RISE Campaign—student success, faculty excellence, academic innovation, community partnerships, building a world-class campus and sustaining opportunities through annual giving and endowment— include broad-based giving opportunities identified by deans, vice presidents, faculty and staff. The campaign further fuels TU’s continued progress and provides the resources necessary to achieve a bold and ambitious institutional vision, detailed in the university’s 2020-30 Strategic Plan, Leadership for the Public Good.

TU is the largest university in Greater Baltimore and an anchor institution for Maryland. Undergraduate research and experiential learning in an inclusive environment are among TU’s hallmarks. This year, TU has been honored again as one of the top public institutions in the nation, garnering recognition for social mobility, inclusion, support for veterans and LGBTQ+ students, civic engagement and sustainability.

That momentum has been matched through a growing culture of philanthropy.

TU raised nearly $18 million during Fiscal Year ’21, an astounding 124 percent of the university’s goal, and $3.9 million more than the previous record-setting year. It was the fourth straight year that Towson University has seen more than $10 million in giving.

Fran Soistman Jr. ’79, (hon.) ‘15, a nationally recognized expert and top executive in the health care management sector, recently made a $5.4 million gift to TU, which was the largest from an alumnus/a in school history. Soistman has supported many projects and initiatives across the university with more than $6.1 million since making his first gift to TU in the late 1980s. He recently was honored as Maryland’s  2021 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Maryland Chapter

But, Soistman says the RISE campaign’s difference-makers are the everyday heroes who have committed to sustaining gifts of $100 to $999. Those gifts have accounted for nearly $200,000 for fiscal year 2022 already.

“It’s not the size of the gift, it’s the act of giving,” said Soistman.

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Gifts from you – our loyal alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends – change lives every day. Your philanthropic support for Towson University and giving to the Towson University Foundation provides vital resources that allow our campus to thrive.

Giving has become part of the culture of TU and its alumni. About 3,800 True Tiger Society members made contributions throughout the fiscal year, and  TU’s 2021 Big Give resulted in a one-day record of 1,450 donors and more than $140,000.