During one of the most difficult and scandal scarred years on record for Penn State University, donations poured into the school from a record number of donors.
The Nittany Lions raised more than $208 million during the 2011-2012 school year, even as former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged and convicted with molesting children on campus property, former head football coach Joe Paterno was fired, former president Graham Spanier resigned, and athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Shultz were criminally charged with perjury and failing to report sex abuse.
The amount raised was the second highest in Penn State’s history, but the number of individual donors was higher in 2011-2012 than any time before in Penn State’s history. More than 190,000 donors gave money to the school. Penn State said the record numbers showed that “donors remain connected to and strongly invested in Penn State.”
“We are grateful to the scores of donors who, through incredibly difficult circumstances, have supported our students and our institution in record numbers,” Vice President Rodney Kirsch wrote in an online statement.
The child sex abuse scandal rattled the university, causing a student riot the night that Paterno was fired in November 2011. Outraged alumni demanded that the Board of Trustees resign over their decision to fire the legendary coach, who was accused by the state attorney general’s office of not doing enough to stop Sandusky after he was told about an alleged sex abuse incident in 2001.
Multiple investigations were launched into how the university handled the sexual abuse allegations and why they were never reported to police, including a federal criminal investigation, a federal Department of Education investigation, a NCAA investigation, and an internal investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh.
The results of Freeh’s investigation are expected to be released this week.