Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is one of five University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill units recognized for outstanding fundraising success in fiscal year 2015.
Morehead joins the University's Eshelman School of Pharmacy, School of Medicine, N.C. Botanical Garden and School of Government in this recognition. These and other University units contributed to the largest fundraising year in the history of UNC-Chapel Hill, which received nearly $447 million in donor commitments in FY 2015.
With $3.4 million in donations, Morehead achieved a 173-percent increase in support over the previous year -- Morehead's best fundraising year ever, according to Jeff Hill, Morehead's director of advancement.
“Our donors made this possible," Hill said. "They have been incredibly generous.
"They recognize the enormous value of all that Morehead does -- our donors know that what we do [at Morehead] makes a difference in the lives of schoolchildren across the state.”
A million-dollar endowment established by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund was a highlight among gifts made to Morehead in FY 2015. That endowment will provide support for the North Carolina Science Festival. Morehead founded the Festival in 2010 and serves as the Festival's parent organization.
Gifts from donors also supported other Morehead programs in science education, including scholarships for school field trips and outreach visits, summer enrichment programming, planetarium shows and community outreach.
Morehead reached more than 150,000 North Carolinians through its Morehead-specific programming and an additional 380,203 North Carolinians through its leadership of the North Carolina Science Festival in FY 2015. Those initiatives enabled Morehead to reach every county in North Carolina with science education programs.
The need for support continues as Morehead enters FY 2016, Hill noted.
“It’s great that we raised so much support this past year, but we reset the counter to zero on July 1," Hill said. "I want our donors to know that we will still be depending on their generosity and investment in our programming this year.”