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Stanford tops private donations list

For the fifth consecutive year, Stanford ranked first in total private donations among American colleges, according to a report released by the Council for Aid to Education on Wednesday.

Stanford netted $640.1 million in the 2009 fundraising year, which ended June 30, edging out Harvard, which raised $601.6 million. Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins rounded out the top five.

According to the report, which surveyed 1,027 schools, American colleges suffered a 12-percent decline in total donations, falling to $27.9 billion in 2009 from $31.6 billion in 2008. This decline was the largest ever in the 40-year history of the survey. Cornell saw the biggest increase of any of the polled schools, receiving a 9.1-percent boost from the previous year.

Despite hanging on to the top spot, Stanford fared even worse than the national average: its total represented an 18-percent decrease. Nonetheless, University fundraisers were grateful for donations amid the 2009 financial crisis.

“The fact that our donors responded with this level of support is a real testament to the generosity of our alumni, parents and friends,” said Martin Shell, Stanford’s vice president for development, to the Los Angeles Times.

The single largest donation was $50 million from Jay Precourt ’59 M.S. ’60, a director at Haliburton Company.

Zach Zimmerman

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