Colorado College announced July 19 that $42.2 million in cash, pledges, and estate commitments were received during its 2016 fiscal year, which concluded on June 30. During the year 6,005 alumni gave to the college, the most since 2008. The total raised bests last year’s $37.1 million and 5,755 alumni.

“Over the last several years, more of our alumni, parents, and friends have stepped forward to support the college because they understand that their gifts enrich the education that we provide our students,” said CC President Jill Tiefenthaler.

Tiefenthaler explained that in order to make a greater impact the college is focusing intensely on three funding priorities: scholarships, a library renovation, and innovation.

At the beginning of the 2016 fiscal year, the college launched the Endowed Scholarship Challenge 101 with a substantial commitment from an anonymous donor who dedicated $10 million to endowed scholarships for Colorado College students by challenging other members of the college community to make gifts or estate commitments of their own. During the last year, 15 donors have endowed scholarships through the challenge.

The library renovation also began during the 2016 fiscal year. The college is still actively fundraising to complete the project, which broke ground in May. When it’s completed in fall 2017, the revamped library will boast more than twice as many seats, technology fused seamlessly throughout the building, collaborative areas and individual study spaces and a full-service café.

The college’s focus on innovation also has resulted in significant accomplishments during the past year. Three inaugural Innovators in Residence were on campus for extended stays, 15 Innovation Thursdays that attracted prominent innovators to Colorado Springs were held, and the fourth annual Big Idea pitch competition, in which students compete for $50,000, took place. Colorado College also received an $8.5 million gift, $6 million of which will fund a $15 million innovation building on the college’s campus and $2.5 million of which is endowing a directorship in innovation.

“We are making progress in each of these areas. However, much work remains,” said Tiefenthaler, noting that a continued emphasis on gifts from alumni, of any amount on an annual basis, increases the college’s ability to prepare students for lives of greater meaning.

“Every gift to Colorado College truly makes a difference,” said Tiefenthaler. “Our increase in alumni giving provides important funding and strengthens the Colorado College network and the relationships that are formed here. We are grateful for this level of alumni engagement and enthusiastic about the future. We hope that the impact on our students will inspire all our alumni to give every year.”