After a dip in 2009-2010, the University of Akron rallied, raising a record $46.7 million last year.
That was 14.3 percent more than the previous year and 27 percent more than the five-year average of $36.6 million.
John LaGuardia, vice president of public affairs and development, said UA fundraisers did “not back off” in the face of the dismal economy.
He said Tim DuFore, associate vice president of development, “pushed his staff to get out and talk to our alumni about the good things that are happening here.”
The 2010-11 amount, 6 percent over the $43.9 percent record set two years before, included a $1 million gift from Jim and Vanita Oelschlager of Bath Township. The founders of Oak Associates, a growth-equity investment firm, have donated $16.2 million to UA over the past two decades.
Last year’s largest corporate gift was $2 million from the Timken Foundation in Stark County.
The Fred Lennon Charitable Trust in Cleveland gave a $1 million matching grant that helped to elevate the total amount raised specifically for scholarships from $5.5 million in 2009-2010 to $6.6 million.
Nationwide, charitable contributions to colleges and universities inched ahead just 0.5 percent in 2010, the last year for which figures are available, to $28 billion, according to results of the annual survey conducted by the Council for Aid to Education. That was the same level as 2006.
National figures are a year or so behind local reports.
Last month, Kent State also reported a record year for 2010-11: $40 million, double the $20 million raised just eight years ago.
LaGuardia said UA aims to raise 10 percent more this year.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3729.