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With every year that passes in my role as chairman of the ESU Foundation Board of Directors, I am reminded when we prepare this report how fortunate the organization is to have such dedicated and loyal supporters. There are so many good non-profits, all doing remarkable work, that want and need your support, yet you continue to be there for ESU and its students.

On behalf of the ESU Foundation and the board, please accept our sincerest thanks for your generosity in 2019-2020. I have served the ESU Foundation since spring 2014 and during those years we have been graced with the support of people who care about education and the often challenging path a student must travel to obtain it. It doesn’t come easily…or inexpensively.

Since its founding 34 years ago, the ESU Foundation has made it its mission to provide ESU and its students the resources needed to pursue their education and provide for enhanced academic and athletic programming. In just over three decades, fundraising has topped $67 million with more than $20 million of that secured in the last five years. I invite you to take a look at the graph on page 7 and see the steady growth the Foundation has made in that time. There certainly have been some dips and lows along the way, but with careful planning and wise investment strategies, we have been able to stay the course over the long haul.

It’s wonderful when we are on campus and learn of and see improvements in our athletic facilities and within academic instruction and classrooms. These are important and much-needed aspects of the experience. What you often don’t hear about is the immense amount of scholarship support provided through the ESU Foundation. In 2019-2020, the Foundation crossed the one- million dollar mark in providing scholarship support to students.That’s a 167.3 percent increase from a decade ago and a true testimony of your commitment to ESU’s students.

Also within the scholarship program, donors created 11 new endowed and 26 new annual scholarships in 2019-2020, surpassing goals by 220 percent and 104 percent, respectively. You are helping us set new benchmarks and ultimately provide resources to students who will become the workforce of tomorrow.

The Foundation board welcomed several new and accomplished members, all who bring expertise and a talented skillset to the table. I’d like to welcome them aboard as well as thank those who have and continue to serve in 2020-2021. As a group, our commitment to honesty, transparency and upholding the Foundation mission is unwavering.

I would like to thank former ESU President Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D., for her partnership and support during the past six years and wish her well in her retirement. We look forward to continuing that relationship with Interim President Ken Long and, when the time comes, a new president and visionary for ESU who helps lead the way in our future fundraising efforts.

As for 2020-2021, I cannot say it will come without challenges. Every home in America is impacted in so many ways from the COVID-19 pandemic and volatile environments. We want to think ahead five years and possibly farther without fear of the unknown but we also understand your health and safety remain paramount. We ask you to stay by our side along the way. ESU and its students are depending on it.