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WVU Foundation raises record $270M to benefit University students, programs and more


Despite the enduring challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, West Virginia University alumni and friends contributed a record $270.1 million to the WVU Foundation in fiscal year 2021 to benefit meaningful education, research and outreach activities at WVU.

The remarkable year in fundraising trumps the previous record – $197.8 million, set in fiscal year 2020 – and reflects the overwhelming spirit of generosity that often brings the University community together. Records show 18,216 donors made 38,480 gifts to WVU from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Alumni comprised more than half of the donors at 9,194.

“To see these record-setting numbers in uncertain economic and social times, and during a pandemic, speaks volumes about the generosity and commitment of our alumni and friends,” WVU Foundation President and CEO Cindi Roth said. “It also speaks to the amazing effort demonstrated by our entire Foundation and fundraising staff at a most challenging and difficult time. I am both deeply grateful and proud.”

Major efforts that added to the Foundation’s fundraising success this past year include “We Are Stronger Together,” an initiative to provide student scholarships and support that has brought in over $23 million, and WVU Day of Giving, which raised nearly $12 million on March 3. Also, two significant multimillion-dollar in-kind software gifts were made during the 2021 fiscal year, along with a $25 million gift from Brad and Alys Smith to create the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative. In total, 35 gifts to WVU exceeded $1 million or more.

“West Virginia University is so fortunate to have such strong and unwavering support from our alumni and friends,” President Gordon Gee said. “These gifts will allow us to continue the investments we are making to help current and future students, retain and attract world-class faculty, aid in our research efforts and bolster improvements to our campuses.”

Several building project campaigns on campus also sparked donor interest, including Reynolds Hall, the new home for the John Chambers College of Business and Economics being constructed along the Morgantown riverfront; a new WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital; and numerous facilities upgrades underway for WVU Athletics.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with our overall fundraising efforts,” said B.J. Davisson, executive vice president and chief development officer for the WVU Foundation. “Despite all kinds of challenges presented with remote work and not being able to meet face-to-face with donors, Foundation staff really stepped up. And not surprisingly, Mountaineer Nation understands the University’s land-grant mission to help the state, and recognizes that private support makes West Virginia a better place.” 

The Foundation annually provides direct support to the University for many purposes, including scholarships and fellowships; academic program development; chairs and professorships; faculty development and research; equipment and facilities; and libraries.  

If you’re interested in supporting WVU with a gift, the easiest way to do so is online at give.wvu.edu. You can also speak with a development officer by calling 304-284-4000 or 800-847-3856.

To learn more about the WVU Foundation and its mission for the University, visit www.wvuf.org.

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