By Marcus Whitman, Staff Writer
File photo by Bailey Hendricks/ The Towerlight
Towson University has surpassed their previous records in donations through philanthropy with a record amount of $14,085,000 raised. Through these philanthropic donations, Towson has been able to fund a number of new programs and expand existing projects on campus such as scholarship programs, athletics, student programming and operations, facilities, faculty and student research projects and more.
Todd Langenberg, Towson’s Associate Vice President for the Division of University Advancement, explained how it is decided where the money goes to ensure that donors have a say in the distribution.
“Every one of our over 15,700 donors in fiscal year 2019 made their own decision of how they would like to see their gifts put to use at Towson University,” he said. “Donors are offered the opportunity to contribute to any of our over 700 philanthropic causes across campus, whether that be to benefit efforts such as student programming and operations, endowed scholarship funds, physical plant and facilities, or faculty and student research projects.”
According to Langenberg, the university reaches out to potential donors such as alumni, families, corporations, and community members. These people are contacted through methods such as social media, phone calls, emails, postcards, and face to face meetings. Langenberg added that the University accepts anything from $1 to $1 million for donations.
Sean Welsh, the Associate Vice President for Communications and Media Advancement, explained how philanthropy is important to the University because the funding from the state of Maryland allows the university to run. Philanthropy helps the University fund many projects and grow the school out further.
“There are a number of programs that we are developing out further in which members of the philanthropic community can get involved and truly make a difference,” Welsh said.
According to David Vanko, Towson’s Dean of the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics, philanthropy has also specifically helped his college grow. He said that while funding from the state is good for covering the day to day expenses and keeping the lights on, philanthropic endeavors have benefited Fisher College more by further expanding its academic programs and resources.
According to Vanko, philanthropy has also helped Fisher College outside of just monetary gifts.
“For the new science center that one of our laboratories been very equipped, a company intends to donate, they’re not giving us money,” he said. “They’re giving us equipment for genetics and DNA analysis.”
The College of Science and Mathematics’s Hill-Lopes scholarship is launching this year, thanks to philanthropy donations from Barbara Hill and Ancelmo Lopes. The scholarship’s purpose it to encourage women in the field of science and help them gain the skills they need to excel in the STEM workforce. The scholarship program is taking effect this fall and will officially be launched on Oct. 11.
Vanko also mentioned that the Glen Arboretum will be getting new funding thanks to donors. This funding will allow the Glen Arboretum to have new trees and shrubs planted and to clean out invasive species in the area.
Vanko says the plan is to turn the arboretum into an area meant for study on campus.
“Glen Arboretum, proven more and more, will become a real jewel that people are gonna visit,” said Vanko.