Florida College supporters share more than just an alma mater. They share a passionate belief in her mission, to educate young people in a spiritual environment. For more than half a century, this belief has resulted in unparalleled loyalty and fierce volunteer support.

So while it is significant, it should come as no surprise that this loyalty and support was recently recognized on a national scale.
Florida College was identified as the top-ranked institution where four-year alumni donated to their alma maters between 2011 and 2013, according to a U.S. News & World Report article published on Dec. 30. An impressive 64.7 percent of Florida College four-year alumni contributed to their alma mater, beating out the alumni at second-place Princeton University (62.5 percent) and other larger institutions.

The size of the school is not the only thing that makes Florida College an unlikely victor in this ranking. Since Florida College only recently began granting bachelor’s degrees, her four-year alumni base is much younger than other institutions’ on this list. With an average of 32, Florida College’s four-year alumni don’t fit the typical profile of collegiate donors.

Florida College President H.E. “Buddy” Payne ’65 challenged all four-year alumni to give back to their alma mater and reach the top of this list in 2011. The goal: to encourage 65 percent of four-year alumni to donate and thereby earn the top-ranked position. Alumni were encouraged to donate to the Senior Legacy Scholarship fund, a fund for current four-year students provided by four-year graduates. The four-year alumni responded remarkably.

Although the goal of 65 percent was narrowly missed, the support received from alumni and friends alike was unprecedented. Jared Barr ‘01, chief marketing and information officer at the College, commented on the initiative’s success.

“The challenge was issued to those who received a bachelor’s degree at Florida College and their response was overwhelming, not because of the collective dollars they gave, but because of what their support tells the rest of our supporters and the rest of the country,” Barr said.

Alumni and friends alike support Florida College because they want to support her cause. Their donations to the College are just one way for them to show how much they love the school and her mission. Support from alumni and friends is a source of constant encouragement to Florida College students, faculty, staff and administration.

President Payne said, “I am so encouraged that we have been able to reach this amazing goal, not just because of the financial impact it has on the College, but because it tells everyone in the nation that Florida College is the most-loved school. It is an honor to serve such a beloved institution.”

Florida College would like to thank four-year alumni for making this amazing achievement possible, as well as all Florida College alumni and friends for their unwavering support and generosity.