$1 million of the total $8.5 million FAMU received in donations for 2016-2017 came from John and Sandra Thompson.
Universities are required by federal law to include pledges as part of their end-year Fundraising total along with actual cash received. The Thompsons pledged $5 million to Famu in Fall 2014, so that counted toward the $5.8 million fundraising total in 2014-2015. But the Thompsons are transferring the money to FAMU in installments of $1 million over five years.
Each $1 million installment will count toward the FAMU fundraising total for the year that it is given. FAMU counted last year’s $1 million from Thompsons toward its 2015-2016 total ($6.4 million) and the latest $1 million toward its 2016-2017 total.
John W. Thompson is an alumnus of the School of Business and Industry (SBI) and chairman of the Microsoft Corporation Board of Directors. The $5 million donation was the result of a negotiating process led by SBI Dean Shawnta Friday-Stroud and her team that followed the fundraising model of founding SBI Dean Sybil C. Mobley. The negotiations took years to complete.
Thompson said one of the big reasons for the gift was his desire to give back to the program that Mobley created.