UNC announced last month that the university received over $500 million in donor commitments in the most recent fiscal year.

This nearly $50 million improvement over last year marks the third consecutive record fundraising year for UNC.

Vice chancellor for university development David Routh said he believes that excitement surrounding the university has helped fuel these unparalleled fundraising numbers.

“I think we’ve gotten better as a university over the last several years about telling the story of the breadth of incredibly good things that are going on at Carolina,” said Routh.

This announcement came just over a month before the start of Carolina’s public fundraising campaign, which will be announced at a celebration during the weekend of the Carolina-Notre Dame football game on October 7.

Routh claims that private donors are a huge part of making tuition at UNC stay affordable.

‘We’re very concerned about keeping tuition affordable, and we’re very realistic about levels of state support,” said Ruth. “We’re deeply appreciative of the support we get from the state of North Carolina, but if you want to do those new things – those cutting edge things that we know we need to do to stay excellent – we really need private support.”

Some noteworthy donations last year included a $25 million gift of art and endowment funding from Sheldon and Leena Peck to support European and American art collections at the Ackland Art Museum, an $18 million gift from the Shuford family of Hickory to support entrepreneurship in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences, and a $4 million gift from Alice Lehman of Charlotte to support cellular immunotherapy research at the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center.