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Donations for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville rose by 40 percent in 2014 compared to last year.

This year, the university raised nearly $131 million in private dollars from alumni, friends, corporations and foundations. In all, more than 35,200 people and corporate partners donated in 2014, which is 2,682 more donors than last year.

"Private resources help to bridge the gap that make a dramatic difference in our ability to serve our students and the state," said UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. "Our donations fuel our momentum by helping us improve our facilities, grow our programs and attract our brightest students."

Gifts under $100 made up 50 percent of the total gifts given to the university this past year.

Here are some of the big initiatives that the donations will help fund:

  • More than $13.6 million was received to provide more merit and need-based scholarships for undergraduates.
  • Nearly $10 million was received to provide new graduate fellowships.
  • Another $10.2 million helped to create new endowed professorships, chairs or faculty awards.
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