West Texas A&M University has surpassed previous fundraising records for its comprehensive One West campaign within the first year since its initial launch on September 1, 2021.
In the first fiscal year since the campaign was announced, WT raised more than $73 million. That total is about $60 million more than the amount raised in fiscal 2021, the previous record-setting year. In total, the campaign has raised about $111 million as of this week.
WT President Walter V. Wendler said in a press release. Great universities, without exception, succeed in fundraising. The two go hand in hand in higher education. The success of this campaign is essential to the future of WT and the prosperity of the Panhandle, as described in our long-term plan, “WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.”
According to Dr. Todd Rasberry, Vice President of Philanthropy and External Relations, the campaign focuses on people, programs and places.
“The One West campaign is the fuel for WT’s long-term vision, known as “WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World,” so the campaign raises charitable dollars to achieve that vision. The campaign has three priorities, including people, programs and venues, in that order So the money we raise from donors goes to support our core educational mission while truly supporting these three priorities,” Rasberry said.
More than half of the personalized gifts received so far have been contributed to the campaign with a focus on people, including expanding scholarship opportunities, professorships, and chairs. During the 2021-22 academic year, WT added nine fellowship professors, bringing the total number of professorships and chairs to 70.
An additional 26 percent of the current total is dedicated to One West’s focus on venues, by improving existing buildings and creating new transformative spaces; Of the current total, 22.8 percent is allocated to programmes, through the promotion of academic and research offerings.
In fiscal year 2022, WT experienced an increase in bidding in multiple ways. In August, WT received $1 million annually from Paul Engler and the Engler Foundation, part of what is currently the largest gift in WT history. Major gifts in the past fiscal year include a $5 million gift to rename Bain-Schaeffer Buffalo Stadium by the families of Barbara and the late Ray Bain, Stanley and Geneva Schaeffer; $5 million gift from Dyke Rogers to name Terry B. Rogers College of Education and Social Sciences; and $5 million in gifts from Dr. Gordon W. Davis and Cavins Bev Packers to establish two Chairs in Meat Arbitration and Meat Science at Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.
Other notable major gifts last year included a $2.5 million gift from Stanley Schaffer and his family to name the Geneva Schaffer Education Building. a $1.5 million gift from the Christian Ministries Foundation of High Plains to renovate Joseph A. Hill Memorial Church; $500,000 gift from Merck Animal Health to renew and expand WT’s research fattening field; and a $300,000 gift from Louise C. and Gene F. Rahll to grant viewing in the Suitcase Program to Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities.
“Scholarships for students are key to attracting and retaining students. We want students from all over the Panhandle to work hard to make the decision not to come to WT. Supporting families at the educational cost is very important, not only to us but across the nation, and we take that very seriously.” Grandfather. So, we already have some generous donors who have already given to the campaign, and it is this generosity that has made this campaign a success,” Rasberry said.
Other gifts received so far in the One West campaign are planned gifts or heirloom gifts that will benefit the university as part of the donor estate. Planned giveaways announced last year include Gerdsen Family Centennial Ranch, a 1,772-acre property located near WTAMU Nance Ranch east of Canyon; A pledge of $1.8 million from WT alumna Jodi Fogat to WT women’s athletics teams through scholarships and program support.
I Am WT, the university’s annual funding campaign, raises more than $300,000 annually from faculty, staff, alumni, and students for athletics, academic fields, programs, memberships, and more. This year’s campaign started on August 25th.
Charitable gifts may include stock, gifts of donor money, estate gifts, lead charitable trusts, charitable residual trusts, life insurance, award annual gifts, or beneficiary allocations of retirement funds, to name a few.
According to Rasberry, the public phase of the plan ends in 2025, but the long-term plan is ready to run until the university’s 125th anniversary in 2035.
“This plan really forces WT to look at what it takes to be a regional university and take it seriously, and that addresses the issues and challenges of the rural area we live in and we find applications that work, not only here, but also in rural areas around the world. This puts a responsibility on our shoulders in To be a part of finding solutions and building the resources of the Panhandle and our region,” Rasberry said.
“We have a lot of work to do in prioritizing people, programs, and venues and finding donors who are interested in making a difference, and creating opportunities for them at WT through higher education to make that happen,” he added.
To make a gift, call the WTAMU Foundation at 806-651-2070 or visit wtamu.edu/give.
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