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OBU Gets $1M Donation, No Strings Attached

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Ouachita Baptist University of Arkadelphia said Wednesday that it received an unrestricted $1 million donation from an anonymous donor.

“The gift is significant for its size and nature as well as its impact,” OBU President Ben Sells said in a news release. “The contribution supports the President’s Innovation Fund that is focused on advancing the university’s new strategic plan, which includes new academic programs.”

The private university said an “unrestricted gift” means that it can freely decide where to use the money. According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, colleges and universities in the United States received only 15 unrestricted gifts of $1 million or more in 2017.

The innovation fund supports enrollment and fundraising efforts. Earlier in the fall, OBU announced a 7.5 percent increase in enrollment, which included its highest freshman-to-sophomore retention rate ever — 83 percent. 

The university also reported receiving a record $17.2 million in private support in academic year 2017-2018.

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