As we work to further elevate WKU, we continue to produce key achievements in philanthropy and alumni giving. We just reported our calendar-year ending results to the boards of the College Heights Foundation and the WKU Foundation. We are on course for another record-setting year of fundraising. During the first six months of FY19, we raised more than $12.4 million in private gifts, marking the second-highest first six-month total in the University’s history. We expect to continue that pace into the second half of the year. You will recall that last year we celebrated the largest dollar totals raised in the history of WKU.
Our institutional success depends upon philanthropy. It allows us to advance WKU, to enhance the experience of our students, and to pursue strategic initiatives. Private giving also serves as an important metric for us because it provides an indicator of external confidence in our University and our direction. Alumni participation also suggests that we are succeeding in our work to instill the value of philanthropy in our students – teaching them the importance of giving back and improving our world. Finally, giving creates a conduit for alumni and friends to stay connected to WKU in a meaningful way throughout their lives. Our graduates help shape our future, and through their support, leave a legacy that is honored and celebrated in perpetuity.
We are grateful for all those who demonstrate their belief in what we are doing by making contributions. I especially appreciate our alumni and friends who make gifts that influence the future of our students and provide access to the WKU Experience. Just a few recent examples include: C.J. and George Nichols who helped found our Intercultural Student Engagement Center; Kristen and Phillip Bale who funded activities of our Center for Leadership Excellence; the James Graham Brown Foundation whose gift, as part of the Opportunity Fund, helped to create and support our Center for Academic Resources and Success; and finally Sunshine and Joe Micatrotto who made the largest outright gift from a former student-athlete in our history benefiting capital projects, our football and volleyball programs, and the WKU Opportunity Fund.
Your work and our students’ successes continue to provide compelling reasons for our donors to invest in WKU. Thank you for your efforts to continue improving our university and the experience we provide for our students. Thank you to the team in the Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement for telling our story and building relationships with our graduates and friends. And for those who participate in our annual faculty and staff campaign, thank you for your personal giving to WKU.
Timothy C. Caboni