Private donations to UCSB hit a record high since 2000 this past year, more than tripling from $34 million during the 2010-11 academic year to $112 million in 2012.

This year’s contributions increased the grand total to $745 million in gifts since 2000, when the university established a goal of $1 billion in private donations. Though a significant portion of this year’s funds can be attributed to Jeff Henley’s $50 million endowment last May in the largest such contribution in UCSB history, roughly 60,000 donors have contributed to the current total.

Co-chairs Henley and Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, along with honorary chair Michael Douglas, are currently leading fundraising efforts that first began in 2000 following continual cuts in state funding.

According to UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang, the sum of donations reflects the hard work of many individuals who have invested in the university’s outcome by reaching out to find donors.

“We are tremendously encouraged by the vision and generosity of our devoted alumni, parents, friends, community members, and also our own faculty and staff who have stepped up to support our university during these challenging economic times,” Yang said in a press release. “Last year’s record levels of philanthropic support — an average of more than $2 million per week — provide momentum and inspiration for us to strive even harder this year as we move forward with our Campaign for UC Santa Barbara.”

In a press release, Associate Vice Chancellor of Development Beverly Colgate said the funds are a great benefit towards future and present students, adding that private funds are especially appreciated in light of consistently decreased public funding for higher education.

“Fiscal year 2012 has been a truly tremendous fundraising year for UC Santa Barbara and represents renewed and deeper investment from our alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends in the university,” Colgate said in a press release. “Private giving makes a significant difference to students, especially in their ability to access a premier university like UCSB, and their opportunities to succeed here … We are truly grateful for their support.”

Additionally, such efforts will continue into future years as UCSB further rises in prestige, according to UCSB Foundation Chair Bruce Wilcox.

“We are deeply gratified by the inspirational level of support received in fiscal 2012, and remain committed to capitalizing on this momentum to further broaden our donor constituencies in order to maintain the standards of excellence for which UC Santa Barbara is increasingly recognized,” Wilcox said in a press release.

A version of this article appeared on page 5 of November 14th 2012’s print edition of the Nexus.