Private gifts to the University rose by more than 12 per cent for 1975-76, reaching about $59 million, officials in the Development Office said yesterday.
William F. Boardman, University development officer, attributed the $6.6 million increase above last year's totals to a combination of an upturn in the economy and increased development of office fund-raising efforts.
Harvard's total tops all Ivy League schools' totals for cash donations, Harry F. Colt Jr. '46, assistant vice president for alumni affairs and development, said yesterday. He said he is not sure at this time if Harvard will lead the nation in gift totals.
The rise in gifts checks a two-year downturn that saw the University's totals slide from $57 million in 1972-3 to $56 million in 1973-74 and to $52 million in 1974-75.
A breakdown of the gifts show that foundations and alumni giving accounted for most of the increases over last year. Foundation giving rose from $11 million in 1974-75 to $15 million in 1975-76. Alumni gifts rose from $10 million to $15 million.
Non-alumni gifts also rose substantially from $1.6 to $5 million. Gifts from corporations stayed at about the same, $7 million level.
Bequests, however, fell from $17 million to $11.8 million this year. "Those took quite a dive," Boardman said, "but we made it up in foundation funds."
The decline in foundation funds in recent years has been a major source of concern among development officials. Foundation funds are vital to many individual teaching programs and research centers within the University. But this year stocks owned by foundations rose substantially and their outlays greatly increased.
Gifts earmarked for current use in the University's budget rose about $5 million to $27 million, while gifts to be used for the endowment moved up from $29 million to $31 million.
The increase in funds used currently "will certainly help the situation of a deficit Faculty budget," Boardman said.
Development officials added that the rise in gifts indicates that mini-fund raising drives in progress for a new sports complex, the Kennedy School of Government and the Center for Jewish Studies.
Dr. Chase N. Peterson '52, vice president for alumni affairs and development, said yesterday that he is "very pleased" with the figures for 1975-76. He noted that the University would have received about $12 more if the level of bequests had stayed the same as last year.