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Gifts to Notre Dame plunged $120M during year of Obama’s appearance

October 25, 2010

Contributions to the University of Notre Dame fell by over $120 million during the fiscal year in which President Barack Obama was awarded an honorary degree. Several dozen bishops criticized the university’s decision during the months preceding the May 17, 2009, commencement ceremony, and an alumni group called for the withholding of donations.

During the July 2008 - June 2009 fiscal year, gifts to the university totaled $226,689,374, including $60,133,035 in government grants. During the July 2007 - June 2008 fiscal year, in contrast, gifts totaled $347,155,514, including $62,241,121 in government grants. Thus most of the decline in contributions consisted in a decline in private donations rather than a drop in government funding.

The decline in donations largely coincided with the late-2000s recession, which officially began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.

During the July 2006 - June 2007 fiscal year, gifts to the university had totaled $309,743,862, including $61,218,074 in government grants.


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  • Posted by: frjpharrington3912 - Oct. 26, 2010 10:04 PM ET USA

    There may be a correlation between the economic recession and fewer donations to ND as Jeff Mirus points out. If the decline contiunes however, (now that the recession is "over") it will be proof positive that it is a direct effect of ND's awarding an honorary degree to President Obama last year. And if this should happen and Fr. Jenkins resigns isn't sad to think that he did so because of money and not on principle? Then again the Lord does work in mysterious ways!

  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Oct. 26, 2010 12:48 PM ET USA

    Has anyone tried to talk some sense to this guy? Maybe it's time to allow this priest a respite from all the comforts of academia and send him on a mission to some place tough so he can meet Jesus on a personal basis.

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Oct. 26, 2010 12:34 AM ET USA

    Not only that, but more importantly, the football team has not done as well as expected! They lost to both U of Michigan and Michigan State University here in this state. This is clasically Biblical. God often used pagan nations that did not recognize Him or follow Him to execute judgement against His people. From those to whom much is given, much is expected! God's people and Our Lady's University should know better!

  • Posted by: Hal - Oct. 25, 2010 5:02 PM ET USA

    "including $60,133,035 in government grants" That's a fourth of their entire gift budget from Caesar. What's that all about? I;m sure the administration will spin it and claim that it reflects the overall national decline and nothing more. Faithful alums need to keep the pressure on.

  • Posted by: ltoscan2645 - Oct. 25, 2010 12:38 PM ET USA

    why is Fr. Jenkins still in charge of Notre Dame, he openly disobeyed his Bishop and the superior of his order...why no concequences??? If I disobey my superiors at my job, I would very quickly be shown the door.