Boosted by one of the best December’s ever, the State of Minds private fundraising campaign for West Virginia University is now at more than 80 percent of its $1 billion goal with three years remaining.
WVU Foundation officials announced Monday (Jan. 26) that alumni and friends of the University had given $819 million through Dec. 31, 2014. The increase of $27 million during the past quarter was bolstered by more than $20 million in new gifts and pledges made in December alone, one of the best Decembers ever in Foundation history for gift activity.
“It’s truly exciting to see the response by our loyal and passionate alumni and friends to this Campaign,” said Verl Purdy, a 1964 alumnus and co-chairman of the Campaign. “We still have a ways to go to meet our goal, but the numbers are very positive. We’re certainly grateful for the tremendous generosity shown thus far.”
Campaign co-chairman Bob Reynolds, a 1974 alum, added, “It’s obvious that West Virginia University remains a very special place in the hearts of many alumni and friends. They care and really want to help by giving back. We’re going to keep pressing on with this Campaign so future Mountaineers have the opportunity to receive a top notch education with quality academic programs and high caliber faculty.”
The contributions include endowed scholarships to enable students to attend class and relieve their debt burden; financial support for new learning facilities; and gifts to enhance cutting-edge degree programs. More than $14 million in December 2014 alone, and $30 million since July 1, 2014, was given for undergraduate and graduate student support, including the creation of 39 new endowed scholarships.
“Alumni and friends of this University have been phenomenal in their support of our campaign,” said WVU President Gordon Gee. “When I travel throughout West Virginia and beyond, and hear the stories of how West Virginia University changed people’s lives, it warms my heart. I truly believe we have one of the most dynamic universities in the country, and with continued support we can rise even higher.”
Fundraising is focusing on six University-wide Campaign priority areas that align with the University’s 2020 Strategic Plan for the Future:
- Enhance the undergraduate student experience and global education
- Advance the research initiative of the University
- Enable WVU to improve West Virginia’s health, economy and quality of life
- Foster faculty excellence
- Enhance WVU through professional and graduate education
- Support healthcare through research, education and patient care
Some of the gifts over the past three months created the William K. Farrar Memorial Scholarship; Hayden W. Ward, Jr. Department of English Discretionary Endowment; and the Jeanie and James Heavner Endowed Scholarship. The University also received a grant from the BelleJar Foundation to enable the College of Education and Human Services to provide a professional development network for teachers in six of West Virginia’s southernmost counties, along with gifts from the Benedum Foundation and Farm Credit to support the WVU Davis College Young Innovators Fellowship Program.
Since July 1 of last year, donors have created ten new research funds, four of which are permanently endowed.
“We are extremely grateful to our alumni and friends for every dollar contributed and pledged,” said Cindi Roth, Foundation president & CEO. “The response to the Campaign has been outstanding. But we know our success is not only measured in how much we raise, but how the money is spent. New opportunities are abounding at the University where private funding can make a difference, and we’ll continue working with President Gee and his team to identify those as we press on toward our new goal.”
Donors continue to support immediate needs of the University by giving to a variety of priority funds across all colleges, schools and units at WVU. The University Fund had its strongest first six months ever in fiscal 2015, with over $7.63 million from more than 12,000 donors. Both figures are substantial increases from the first six months of fiscal 2014.
Last September, the University and Foundation announced its original Campaign goal of $750 had been exceeded, and the Campaign was being extended through 2017 with a new goal of $1 billion.
Visit www.astateofminds.com for information on how you can help support the Campaign.
The WVU Foundation was charted in 1954 to secure, hold and administer funds and properties given by individuals, corporations and philanthropic foundations in support of WVU.
CONTACT: Bill Nevin, WVU Foundation
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