It is the fourth straight year that UofL has bested its previous year’s fundraising total, as some 29,000 donors gave or pledged the $140.7 million to UofL.

The university will use the funds to create student scholarships, recruit and retain faculty, boost teaching and research, support academic units and libraries and improve the university’s infrastructure, said President James Ramsey.

“Becoming a premier metropolitan research university takes money,” he said. “Our remarkable fundraising efforts over the past few years are helping counter the effects of a sluggish economy and declining state funding. I’m extremely proud of this accomplishment.”

Not only was private giving $19 million higher in fiscal 2011 than it was in fiscal 2010, but about 1,700 more donors stepped forward to make gifts and pledges, said Keith Inman, vice president for university advancement.

UofL also is seeing an increase in the percentage of alumni that gives to the school. Nearly 14 percent of the university’s alumni donated money to their alma mater ─ a percentage substantially higher than the 9 percent national average for public research universities.

“This shows UofL is an institution on the move,” Inman said. “People want to be part of an exciting, vibrant university, and that’s why they’re giving to UofL in record numbers.”

So far, UofL has raised $518 million through its “Charting Our Course” campaign, which began in 2007 with a goal of $750 million. On July 14, Ramsey and UofL’s Board of Trustees approved a plan to increase the campaign goal to $1 billion and to extend the campaign through 2014.

“Charting Our Course” chairmen are Owsley Brown Frazier, UofL Board of Trustees chairman; Henry Heuser, UofL Board of Overseers chairman; and Chester Porter, UofL Foundation chairman.