A record-setting fundraising year

Student holds out heart hands

The NAU Foundation is celebrating a record year of fundraising, surpassing the previous record year in 2020. More than 8,600 donors contributed more than $21.5 million, supporting students, faculty and programs across the university in the fiscal year 2022, which ended on June 30. 

“Achieving this remarkable milestone demonstrates the power of giving back and the transformative effect it has on NAU and our local communities,” NAU Foundation Board Chair Dave Franke said. “Donations address strategic priorities of NAU and drive opportunities for generations of Lumberjacks to be influential leaders in our society.” 

Gifts received contribute to a variety of programs, including academic research, undergraduate scholarships, professorships, community engagement and more. Generous contributions propel Native American initiatives, STEM programs, experiential learning opportunities and state-of-the-art facilities to help Lumberjacks thrive. 

“This show of support is especially noteworthy given the reinvigorated mission of our university as articulated in NAU 2025 – Elevating Excellence,” NAU President José Luis Cruz Rivera said. “It is indicative of the power of the collective vision we share to drive social impact and economic mobility, serving our students, our communities and the state of Arizona.” 

Contributing to this success are the supporters who established scholarships and endowments, NAU Athletics ambassadors who championed the Student Athlete High Performance Center and the many community partners who demonstrated their commitment to NAU’s 123-year legacy of excellence. This accomplishment also was possible with the outpouring of support during NAU’s annual Giving Day on April 13.  

Gifts of all sizes have an immediate and direct influence on students and their academic journey, many of which were initiated this past year. 

The Lincoln Institute, Catena Foundation, Mighty Arrow Foundation and Bay and Paul Foundations contributed to building capacity and connections with Indigenous communities through NAU’s Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP). Internships through ITEP bridge culture and climate science, strengthening tribal resources to address environmental and natural resource management.  

Lumberjack leader and an NAU Foundation board member, Lisa Bagwell, established the Electrical Engineering Experiential Endowed Learning Award to connect engineering students with hands-on learning opportunities. This scholarship builds on the curriculum learned in the classroom, applying it in industry settings through field trips, internships, service learning and other projects that prepare future engineers to help combat global energy issues. 

Music aficionados Michael and Karen Kitt continued their commitment to transform music on campus through the Kitt School of Music. Through a significant donation, they are nurturing the talents of aspiring musicians and paving the way for the next generation of performers, scholars and teachers. Their support is felt by music lovers everywhere and is setting the stage for a legacy of high-quality academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students. 

Bill Franke and Carolyn Franke are improving education across Arizona through the College of Education initiative on collaborating with schools. Through a Grow Your Own partnership, their support will provide scholarship aid for students and assign teacher mentors to program graduates to create high-quality educators to lead Arizona K12 students. 

Each of these contributions transform lives and empower Lumberjacks. Discover how your gifts impact NAU and provide enriching opportunities by visiting foundationnau.org/impact. 

NAU Communications