- Associated Press - Friday, September 21, 2018

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois says it raised nearly $500 million in outside money over the past year, posting a record system-wide amount.

The university announced Friday that the $498.5 million fundraising total for the 2018 fiscal year is $212 million more than it raised the year before in contributions and grants.

The fundraising mark comes after the university publicly launched a major fundraising campaign last fall. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports the university’s main campus has raised $1.35 billion toward its $2.3 billion goal by 2022.

A $150 million donation last fall from Chicago businessman Larry Gies (GEES’) helped boost the fundraising total.

The university’s foundation has also created a registered charity in England in an effort to attract more donations from graduates in the United Kingdom and Europe.

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