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Why We Gave: WKU Opportunity Fund Donors & News


WKU
WKU announces extended goal for Opportunity Fund

During the Faculty and Staff Convocation on Aug. 16, 2021, WKU President Timothy C. Caboni announced that the University has raised $51,864,000 for the WKU Opportunity Fund, surpassing the initial goal of $50 million.

 

“However, we are not done,” added President Caboni. “We must continue our efforts to increase access and to ensure every Hilltopper will benefit from the full WKU Experience, no matter their economic condition. I am proud to announce today an extended goal for the Opportunity Fund. Under the banner ‘Where Opportunity Leads,’ we will immediately begin our work to raise an additional $50 million for the WKU Opportunity Fund, bringing the total to $100 million.”

Read more: WKU announces extended goal for Opportunity Fund

CHF
College Heights Foundation celebrates milestone

Born from a $100 gift from a faculty member, the idea for the College Heights Foundation (CHF) started with the goal to help WKU students in need. This summer, CHF celebrates its 98th anniversary with achieving the milestone of surpassing $100 million in its endowment.

Read more: College Heights Foundation celebrates milestone

Kearra Boone
Dr. Martha J. Sales Award established and awarded during Women's History Month

The Dr. Martha J. Sales ISEC Award, established through a generous gift from Cynthia “CJ” Nichols (’82) of Haverford, Pa., was created and awarded for the first time during Women’s History Month in March 2021. 

“It means so much for someone to believe in you, but it means more for them to really be there to actually help you succeed,” said Kearra Boone. “To receive an award named after Dr. Sales made me feel as if I was following her legacy, and I know there is still room for me to grow and to better myself. I’m so thankful for this opportunity.”

Read more: Dr. Martha J. Sales Award established and awarded during Women's History Month

 

 

GeMonee and Alex Brown
Young alumni couple establish scholarship, but are just getting started

“Giving back is a small way for me to say thank you for helping make me the person I am today,” said GeMonee. “WKU is special to us because we met here and we love everything WKU. To support another Hilltopper is a good feeling.”

Read more: Young alumni couple establish scholarship, but are just getting started

WKU Colonnade
45 scholarships awarded for the first time in fall 2020

The College Heights Foundation, which administers privately funded scholarships for Western Kentucky University students, awarded 45 scholarships for the first time this fall. These include newly established scholarships or funds that reached endowment level to begin making annual awards. Since its founding in 1923, the College Heights Foundation (CHF) has grown to include more than 1,300 scholarship funds to directly support Western Kentucky University (WKU) students.

Read more: 45 scholarships awarded for the first time in fall 2020

Toppers Assist Scholarship
Inaugural recipient for Toppers Assist Scholarship announced

The Toppers Assist Scholarship was established in July 2020 by four former Hilltopper Basketball student-athletes who united to honor their alma mater and provide opportunities for underrepresented groups at WKU. These former student-athletes want to help WKU achieve its educational goal of promoting a diverse environment by creating a scholarship to support students who may not be able to afford college without financial assistance. Since the announcement of the Toppers Assist Scholarship, eight other student-athletes have joined to support the scholarship, and more partnership announcements are expected

Read more: Inaugural recipient for Toppers Assist Scholarship announced

 

 

Juan Dozier
Young alumnus establishes scholarship in honor of diversity

“The single-most important reason for me to establish this scholarship was to honor the Black Lives Matter movement,” said Dozier. “I want to assist individuals who seek to become leaders in their field of study and in their community. If we want to see change occur, it must start with us and our ability to lead other individuals.”

Read more: Young alumnus establishes scholarship in honor of diversity

Hagemeyer Scholarship Announcement
Scholarship established to honor legacy of WKU faculty member's parents

“Having the opportunity to promote becoming an educator and to honor my parents’ history of service was such a great combination,” said Dr. Janet Tassell, an Associate Professor in WKU’s School of Teacher Education. “As anyone knows who has had a great teacher, doors open up. We want to do everything we can to bring more people to the field of education, and especially those interested in mathematics and science.”

Read more: Scholarship established to honor legacy of WKU faculty member's parents

Omega Phi Alpha
Omega Phi Alpha establishes scholarship in honor of sister Taylor Grider

“All of us in Rho Chapter had the privilege of calling Taylor a sister and friend,” shared members of the Chapter. “Taylor’s heart for serving those around her and the pride she felt for Omega Phi Alpha radiated from her. The moment Taylor became our sister, she brought so much joy and love to our chapter. Taylor always had a smile on her face and never hesitated to lend a helping hand.”

Read more: Omega Phi Alpa establishes scholarship in honor of sister Taylor Grider

 

 

 

 

 

First Lady Kacy and WKU President Timothy C. Caboni
WKU President Timothy C. Caboni and First Lady Kacy S. Caboni establish scholarship

“Forty percent of our student population are first-generation college students. That number really resonated with me because I was a first-generation college student, and I was able to succeed in college because of scholarship support. We feel very strongly about supporting education, and we wanted to do something to benefit Kentucky students. - Kacy S. Caboni

“My experience as a graduate student in the Department of Communication was one of the most formative experiences of my life and helped to shape much of my professional career. Kacy and I want to help others who share our passion for communication to benefit from the same applied experiences I was provided as a WKU student.” - President Timothy C. Caboni

Read more: WKU President Timothy C. Caboni and First Lady Kacy S. Caboni establish scholarship

Wells Fargo Foundation
Wells Fargo Foundation establishes scholarship fund to support military-affiliated students

“Private scholarship support is critical for those seeking to advance themselves through higher education, particularly for those brave individuals who serve in our military. It is our privilege to provide these funds to assist those who serve our great country!” - John Ridley of Wells Fargo Advisors

Read more: Wells Fargo Foundation establishes scholarship fund to support military-affiliated students

Dr. Hugh and Debby Wilhite
Dr. Hugh H. and Debby G. Wilhite establish scholarship

“I always wanted to do something for the school because Western did a lot for me, and I really appreciate that. Debby and I talked about it and decided now was a good time. It’s a great feeling. I just feel so fortunate that we’re able to do this.” - Dr. Hugh Wilhite

Read more: Dr. Hugh H. and Debby G. Wilhite establish scholarship

 

 

Micatrotto Family
Joe and Sunshine Micatrotto make $1 million gift to support WKU Athletics, largest outright gift from former student-athlete

“I’m a first-generation college graduate, and without support from people around me, that wouldn’t have happened. Not everyone has parents who can afford to send them to college. When we heard about the WKU Opportunity Fund, we wanted to help give kids a ‘yes.’” - Sunshine Micatrotto

“Supporting my alma mater makes me proud and excited, but more than anything it has allowed me to help something I’m so passionate about. We are blessed to be able to do something like this. Being a part of the WKU family is a real thing to our family.” - Joe Micatrotto

Read more: Joe and Sunshine Micatrotto make $1 million gift to support WKU Athletics, largest outright gift from former student-athlete

Chris and Sherrie Swanberg
Chris and Sherrie Swanberg establish scholarship for WKU students from Henderson County and Owensboro High Schools

“A scholarship like this would have been useful to us personally,” said Sherrie Swanberg. “This is a way to help students who really want to be educated by opening up opportunities they may not have otherwise.”

“The needs-based aspect really spoke to us,” added Chris Swanberg. “We both come from modest backgrounds, so being able to make this available seemed like a great way to give back. The WKU Opportunity Fund is such a unique way to make a difference for students.”

Read more: Chris and Sherrie Swanberg establish scholarship for WKU students from Henderson County and Owensboro High Schools

James Graham Brown Foundation
WKU Opportunity Fund receives $450,000 award from James Graham Brown Foundation

“This grant, intended to bolster WKU’s efforts to give students from all backgrounds the support needed to help them persist and earn a degree, aligns with the Foundation’s goals in student success. The Foundation believes that the well-being of individuals and communities is closely linked to educational attainment and is pleased to support efforts that help more Kentucky students earn postsecondary credentials.” - Mason Rummel, President and CEO of the James Graham Brown Foundation.

Read more: WKU Opportunity Fund receives $450,000 award from James Graham Brown Foundation

 

 


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 Last Modified 10/1/21