WVU Foundation donations exceed $173 million
Published: Friday, August 17, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 17, 2012 04:08
West Virginia University Foundation, a non-profit corporation that receives and administers gifts to WVU, has announced the total amount of donations for the 2011-2012 fiscal year – a record-breaking $173.9 million.
Through WVU Foundation, the gifts have been committed to WVU in the form of scholarships, professorship endowments and construction projects.
According to WVU Foundation President and CEO Wayne King, this is the Foundation’s biggest year ever.
"This is the first time we’ve ever received gifts that have exceeded $100 million in a single year," he said.
The donations, most of which come from private donors, included a software donation from Siemens PLM Software valued at $71.2 million.
Even without the software donation, gifts surpassed all previous records, according to King.
"It certainly speaks to the fact that so many people believe in and support WVU and President (James P.) Clements and the leadership team that’s in place at the University," he said.
King cited recent events, such as WVU’s entrance into the Big 12 Conference and continually improving academic ratings for the University as reasons for increased donations.
"So many people feel good about so many aspects of the University. I think lots of donors are pleased with the University’s direction," he said.
This year, 97 percent of the 22,000 gifts received are restricted to use for a specific purpose by the donor. One person might contribute $50,000 to permanently endow a scholarship in a specific program, or to purchase equipment for a certain laboratory.
King said he believes these donations are crucial to WVU’s progress.
"These donations make a huge difference in the University, so then in the life of students, faculty and staff," he said. (He mentioned the new WVU basketball facility as an example.)
"We wouldn’t have that building if not for private support," he said. "We’re extremely grateful for the continuing growth of the donations."
To solicit support, WVU Foundation enlists professionals from each academic department to provide opportunities for potential donors to give.
"It’s because our folks are out meeting with donors – talking with them and presenting these opportunities – that many of these gifts happen," King said.
While King recognizes parents of incoming freshmen are considering tuition and other fees, their students will benefit from these donations.
"It is very likely that their sons and daughters will benefit from a privately funded scholarship, be taught by an endowed professor and will likely learn to use cutting edge software that has been provided by a donor," he said. "There are many different ways that students here can benefit."
King said many alumni with close ties to the University have "given back" in the form of donations. Fred Tattersall, a 1970 graduate of WVU’s College of Business and Economics, donated $3 million to permanently endow a professorship in the department.
"As he said, he gives tremendous credit to his experiences here at the University and what his professors taught him," King said. "It played a major role in the success he has experienced in his life, and he wanted to give back and help other students become successful in their own right."
To learn more about WVU Foundation or to donate, visit wvuf.org.