The Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal evidently has not hurt Penn State's fundraising as the school said alumni helped raise more than $208 million this year -- the second-highest amount ever.
Donations from alumni and friends of Penn State yielded $208.7 million, the second-highest figure in the university's history, despite a year that was marked by unprecedented challenges for the Penn State community, as the school delicately put it in a statement.
Those unprecedented challenges were clear references to Jerry Sandusky, the former football offensive coordinator who was found guilty of 45 counts of child sex abuse last month and faces up to 442 years in prison, and the death of legendary football coach Joe Paterno, whose legacy took a hit in the scandal.
A record 191,712 donors contributed to Penn State's fundraising campaign, dubbed For The Future: The Campaign For Penn State Students. The school received 323,271 gifts from those donors, also a record.
Penn State's alumni and friends have remained steadfast in their support of our students and faculty, said Rodney P. Kirsch, senior vice president for development and alumni relations, in a statement. We are grateful to the scores of donors who, through incredibly difficult circumstances, have supported our students and our institution in record numbers. Through their philanthropy, our benefactors will help to confirm Penn State's leadership in higher education.
The fundraising campaign, which began in 2007, aims to raise $2 billion for the school. For The Future: The Campaign For Penn State Students has raised $1.6 billion so far and is way ahead of schedule.
Some observers on Twitter were shocked to hear of the near-record fundraising figures.
Penn State raises $208M. Second most ever. That is so crazy to me, said user @basiljj.
I'm a #pennstate grad-I did NOT donate any money to PSU this year; how could this have been the 2nd highest year? asked Twitter user Seth Dixon.
Penn State received $208 million in donations this past year despite scandal...I can't decide whether that is hopeful or sad..., said user Tim Kelly.
Twitter user Jeff Boian said he was not sure if i should be enraged or amazed over the Penn State fundraising totals.