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'Loyal, generous bunch' gives more than $160 million to WVU

campusAlumni and friends gave $161 million to West Virginia University this past year, making it the second highest year of giving in the University’s history.

The WVU Foundation says 23,161 donors, including 12,471 alumni, made 46,056 gifts between July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 totaling $161,029,056. Only in FY’12 did the Foundation raise more - $173.9 million, a year that included two exceptionally large philanthropic gifts. FY’18 was buoyed by three record months of giving in July ($12.9 million), August ($12 million), and December ($49.5 million). 

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the response from our alumni and friends,” said B.J. Davisson, Foundation executive vice president and chief development officer. “Mountaineer Nation is a loyal, generous bunch. On behalf of my colleagues at the Foundation and all those at WVU who benefit from private giving, I want to thank each donor for their giving spirit which is having such a positive, lasting impact across the University system.”

Foundation officials say 31 donors gave $1 million or more to the University in FY’18, accounting for $96.5 million or 60 percent of the $161 million. The contributions span all areas of the University, from academics to research, to health sciences to athletics. 

"We can never take for granted the generosity of the West Virginia University family, but I cannot say I am surprised by the continued outpouring of support for this University," WVU President Gordon Gee said. "Whether it is through a special gift or the University Fund, Mountaineers have always responded. These gifts will allow us to continue and increase the momentum of the recent years."

Sixty-two percent of the money raised came from individuals while 27 percent was funded by corporations. Foundations and trusts round out the total.  

The Foundation’s annual giving program – The University Fund – brought in a record $22.3 million in FY ’18. This is the fourth straight year of record totals for the University Fund. Successful initiatives included the first WVU Day of Giving which brought in nearly $3 million and the Pride Travel Fund in support of the WVU Marching Band which donors gave more than $100,000.

Among major gifts received in FY ’18:  A leadership donation from Don Hoylman benefiting the WVU College of Business and Economics and the WVU Cancer Institute; $5 million from Verl and Sandra Purdy for the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, College of Business and Economics and Athletics; and $1 million from Herb and Rita Sanger for WVU Athletics. 

Chartered in 1954, the WVU Foundation is a private non-profit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit of West Virginia University.

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