The largest private fundraising campaign in West Virginia University history saw more than 90,000 donors contribute just over $1.2 billion to the University.
Alumni and friends of WVU contributed $1,218,886,505 to the “State of Minds” campaign which ended Dec. 31, WVU President Gordon Gee announced Tuesday (Feb. 27) during his State of the University Address at Erickson Alumni Center. That amount is more than $200 million over the campaign’s $1 billion goal.
“These incredible numbers show that people believe in West Virginia University’s power to fuel change,” Gee said. “People understand that we are creating opportunities, changing lives and moving West Virginia forward. With their generous support, more than 90,000 donors have chosen to invest in a better future.”
Campaign donations established 844 student scholarships, 57 chairs and professorships, and 227 funds to assist research efforts.
The campaign was launched publicly June 2, 2012, with an original goal of $750 million and a deadline of December 2015. That goal was shattered in the summer of 2014, and the campaign was extended to December 2017 with a new goal of $1 billion. Donations exceeded the $1 billion mark in summer 2016. At that time, it put WVU on a list with only 36 other four-year public universities across the country to have successfully raised more than $1 billion.
“To have over 90,000 donors give more than $1.2 billion to WVU is truly a remarkable investment,” said campaign co-chair Bob Reynolds, a 1974 graduate. “We’re now able to open many doors of opportunity to help move our University and State forward. The campaign’s success speaks directly to the loyalty and generosity of our alumni and donors, and we’re very thankful.”
Campaign fundraising focused on University-wide campaign priority areas that align with the University’s 2020 Strategic Plan for the Future. Gift commitments in each of these areas through Dec. 31 show:
- $567.7 million – Enhance the undergraduate student experience and global education.
- $226.8 million – Advance the research initiative of the University.
- $161.2 million – Enable WVU to improve West Virginia’s health, economy, quality of life.
- $136 million – Enhance WVU through professional and graduate education.
- $127 million – Foster faculty excellence.
From the above gift commitments, $314.4 million will be used to support healthcare through research, education and patient care.
Foundation officials say 90,076 donors gave 397,127 separate gifts to the campaign. This includes donations from 37,085 alumni. The largest percentage of donations to the campaign, 50 percent, came from individuals. The rest of the contributions came from various sources including corporations, foundations, trusts and estates. Of the donors, 147 gave gifts of $1 million or more.
“Once again, our passionately committed University family responded,” said Verl Purdy, a 1964 alumnus and national co-chair of the campaign. “When there is a need, Mountaineers always come through. I am truly moved by the generosity of so many who understood the importance of this campaign to our great University.”
WVU Foundation President and CEO Cindi Roth said the goal now is to build on the momentum established with the campaign’s achievements.
“This incredible milestone in our University’s history is certainly a cause for celebration, thanks to our loyal donors, and we want to celebrate them,” Roth said. “Looking ahead, we know there are many initiatives that need private support, such as building our new B&E complex and children’s hospital. Students and scholarships will always be an important priority, as we will need to rely more on private philanthropy. So, there’s more work to be done. But I’m confident that given the fierce generosity of our alumni and friends, we will realize even more success. I hope all of Mountaineer nation joins us on that journey as ‘One WVU’.