07/11/2012 12:52 pm ET | Updated Jul 16, 2012

University Of Virginia, The Cavalier Daily Receive Influx Of Donations After Teresa Sullivan Controversy

When Teresa Sullivan was ousted as the president of University of Virginia, the community worried donors would withhold money from the school. In the end, with Sullivan reinstated and UVA beginning to move forward, the whole controversy may have been a boost for the university as well as the student newspaper.

The UVA's Board of Visitors faced 16 days of protest by students, faculty and community members after Sullivan suddenly resigned in June before she was eventually reinstated. It was only revealed Rector Helen Dragas lead an attempt to oust Sullivan when the school's student newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, uncovered emails showing a behind-the-scenes push.

The Cavalier Daily received much applause by professional journalists, as national media outlets picked up on their reporting, and people began asking how they could donate to the newspaper.

Matthew Cameron, The Cavalier Daily's editor-in-chief, told The Huffington Post that the student paper raised more than $2,500 since they launched their fundraising campaign. He admits it "isn't huge" but is a lot more than they "typically make in donations over a similar period of time."

They also doubled their number of Twitter followers from about 2,500 to over 5,000, and "our Facebook page went from reaching about 3,000 people per week to more than 22,000 people per week at the height of the story," Cameron added.

The student newspaper receives no funding from the university, which also benefited from donors.

The Daily Progress reported:

[T]he university received verbal commitments for two anonymous gifts as statements in support of Sullivan: $1 million for AccessUVa and $1 million for a department in the College of Arts & Sciences. There was also a separate $500,000 gift to the College of Arts & Sciences, as well as other gifts totaling more than $200,000. Many of the online gifts came with messages of support for Sullivan.

There was also at least $218,910.95 raised from 657 online donors shortly after Sullivan's reinstatement,
the Washington Post reported.

UVA has one of the largest endowments among public college systems in the country. In 2011, they reported having $4,760,515,000 in their endowment fund.


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