In the 16 months since the public launch of "A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia's University," $145 million from almost 25,000 donors has been received by the WVU Foundation, bringing the campaign total to $683.4 million as of Sept. 30.
This total includes 75 gifts of $1 million or more.
The Campaign goal of $750 million will likely be achieved sometime next summer, well ahead of the scheduled December 2015 end date. This level of success speaks volumes for the outstanding support coming from alumni, friends, corporations and foundations that believe in the mission of West Virginia University. The economy has seemingly had no appreciable effect on giving to WVU.
This outpouring of support has enabled the foundation to set records in all categories of fundraising while providing funding for a wide variety of priority needs represented among the 16 colleges, schools, and units that are participating in the campaign. Of special note is the direct relationship between WVU Foundation-guided fundraising activity and the goals set forth in the WVU Strategic Plan.
With well-deserved credit given to the positive tone that has been developed during President Jim Clements' tenure, special recognition is due for the more than 250 campaign volunteers, and the hundreds of faculty, deans and senior administrators at WVU, and the Foundation team, whose tireless efforts have helped position the campaign for early success.
There are now hundreds of donor stories that can be told to underscore the significant long-term outcomes that have been made possible by our generous donors. Here is one of those stories.
A special ceremony was recently held at the home of the WVU president recognizing five outstanding students who have been named Ruby Scholars. Funded by the Hazel Ruby McQuain Trust, with a dollar for dollar match from the Research Trust Fund provided by the State of West Virginia, the Ruby Scholars program now ranks among the most prestigious fellowship awards made by WVU. The Ruby Scholars program is named for the late Hazel Ruby McQuain, Morgantown philanthropist, whose first seven-figure gift made possible Ruby Memorial Hospital.
A phrase often repeated by Foundation leadership deserves another mention. Every gift, whether large or small, makes a difference. It makes a difference in the life of a student, a faculty or staff member, in the ability of WVU to provide a quality educational experience. Equally as important, is that every gift, large or small, comes from an individual, couple, corporation or foundation that seeks to see something good happen through their generosity. Very simply, that's why people give.
The mission of the WVU Foundation is "To enrich the lives of those touched by West Virginia University by maximizing private charitable support and providing services to the University and its affiliated organizations."
As the state's flagship university and land-grant institution, WVU needs private resources to continue making a difference and changing lives across this great state, and beyond.
How exciting it will be to celebrate a successful campaign knowing that celebration will also represent a major step forward in the fulfillment of the mission of both the Foundation and the university.
Learn about the Campaign and how to get involved at stateofminds.com or call 800-847-3856.
King is president and CEO of the West Virginia University Foundation.