Signum University 2016 Annual Fund


If we get $5,000 in LOTRO-designated funds by Oct. 31, 2015, Dr. Olsen will run through LOTRO as a chicken!

Tuesday, October 13 @ 8 pm ET

Talking Adaptation with Jim Butcher
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Signum University is growing. And like any growing entity – a child, a pet, that alien spawn you found in a smoking meteor crater – we need your support to be able to keep growing and offering innovative educational services.

In the past, we’ve raised funds for specific programs and activities within the Signum family, such as the Mythgard Academy, which offers free, live, interactive classes on speculative fiction. This year, as Signum University expands, we’re expanding our focus and our ambitions to include all of the programs under the Signum umbrella.

Learn how your donation supports Signum ≫

See Signum University President Dr. Corey Olsen’s overview of the fund drive.



From Hobbit Day to Halloween

We’re also expanding the fun! The fund drive will kick off on Hobbit Day (Sept. 22) and continue through Halloween (Oct. 31). In addition to our traditional webathon, we’ll have events throughout the entire period, including:

  • Interactive events such as trivia challenges
  • Live discussions with well-known people
  • Exploration of Lord of the Rings Online with Dr. Olsen’s alt Wigend

Concurrent, the Mythgard Institute is hosting a series of short-form speculative writing contests.

Learn more about events during the fund drive ≫

In addition to being fun themselves, these activities are designed to highlight the breadth of value that Signum University provides – not just to students but to the public as well. All of these activities will be open to anyone and everyone who wants to join them with no donation required.

Your donation supports Signum and Mythgard programs

How Your Donation Supports Signum University

As Signum University continues to grow, the costs of offering our revolutionary instructional framework grow as well. This is a happy problem, as it means more and more people are becoming aware of our services as we maintain our mission to provide affordable education options to everyone around the world.

Being an online institution, many of the costs associated with that mission increase as more and more people access our offerings. This includes things like:

  • Administrative tools for our worldwide team of volunteers, faculty, and work-study staff
  • Classroom interface (aka, “Netmoot”) costs
  • Recording software licenses
  • Website hosting services
  • Cloud storage and streaming
  • …and much more!

Help Signum University keep the lights on

2016 Annual Fund Goals

With the above in mind, we’ve set our annual fund goals to reflect the costs involved with these items. We have four goal levels that we are trying to reach this year.


Signum University 2016 Annual Fund Goals
Level Goal What it covers…
Keeping the Lights On $20,000 Our software licenses and fees for the year, enabling us to keep all our programs running
Balancing the Budget $35,000 All our basic non-employee expenses
Establishing a Firm Foundation $50,000 The above, plus providing funds to cover our certification fees and to expand our student services
Building the Future $100,000 The above, plus enabling us to hire some of our volunteers, stabilizing the institution and allowing us to accomplish much more

Dr. Corey Olsen provides insight about Signum University’s annual funding goals.

Help build the future of education

In addition to these campaign goals, throughout the fund drive we’ll have weekly fund goals tied to the Signum and Mythgard programs we are discussing that week. Each weekly goals will offer an additional incentive – like a special event or experience – that will be made possible if that week’s goal is reached.

More information about weekly fund goals will be added as they are announced!


Annual Fund Donor Levels

Given the goals we’ve set for the annual fund drive, this we have adjusted the donor levels to reflect how individual donations help Signum University and our students. These donor levels apply to any donation made throughout the year, not just during the fund drive.

Signum University 2016 Annual Fund Donor Levels
Level Annual Donation ($US) Monthly Donation ($US) Level Features (Cumulative)
Voluntary Assistant Postman $25 Voting privileges in Mythgard Academy courses – One vote per dollar donated
Councillor $100 $10 Membership on the Council of the Wise with the ability to nominate books for Mythgard Academy courses
Bounder $250 $21 Special access to our library of previous courses
Ranger $500 $42 Special access to one of our current courses
Thain $1,000 $85 Full access to a current course
Mayor $5,000 $420 A custom online event hosted in the donor’s honor
Gardener $10,000 $840 Special travel experience
Steward $25,000 $2,100 Custom regional event organized in the donor’s honor
President’s Circle $50,000 $4,200 Special interface with Signum Universitymanagement and special access to events and activities

Dr. Corey Olsen explains the donor levels in the video below:

Become a Signum supporter today

Signum University & the Mythgard Institute

Many people have become part of the Signum University family through the popular offerings of the Mythgard Institute. This includes programs such as:

  • Classes for our M.A. in Language & Literature
  • Mythgard Academy courses
  • The Silmarillion Film Project
  • Guest Lecture Series*
  • Mythgard on LOTRO
  • Events such as Mythmoot conferences and regional gatherings like the Midatlantic Speculative Fiction Symposium

Learn more about Mythgard activities at ≫

We want to acknowledge that many of the Mythgard faithful may not be familiar with Signum University. As the parent institution of Mythgard Institute, fund donated to Signum University also help Mythgard Institute.

For example, Signum University pays for the classroom interface, recording software, hosting services, and other technologies and administrative tools used by Mythgard classes and programs.

Signum donations help the Mythgard Institute

* Note that one of the ways Signum University is expanding is by offering even more free, interactive online discussions with persons of note. Watch for information about the new Signum Sessions series in 2016!


Weekly Fund Drive Activities

Each week during the campaign, we will have activities focusing on one of the programs Signum University offers. Weekly themes are as follows:

September 20: Signum University Overview
September 27: Guest Lecture Series
October 4: Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO)
October 11: Silmarillion Film Project
October 18: Mythgard Academy
October 25: Combined Program Events

Learn more about events during the fund drive ≫


Donate Today

If you enjoy the activities offered by Signum University and the Mythgard Institute, please donate today. Donating not only gives you the special access to programs and courses noted, but it lets


We hope to see you at one – or all! – of the events we have planned during this campaign!