Comprehensive fundraising campaign for Washburn University exceeds goals
An unprecedented event took place on April 29, 2017, as alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University celebrated the results of 150 Forward: The Campaign for Washburn University.
In October 2013, the Washburn University Foundation in conjunction with Washburn University launched a $125 million comprehensive fundraising campaign to include both gifts for today and gifts for the future. The campaign set out to make dramatic changes on campus – support for scholarships and academic programs and physical spaces like the Welcome Center – that help provide broader, richer student experiences.
The campaign did just that as alumni and friends came together and made total gifts to Washburn during the campaign period exceeding $145 million. This will benefit the campus for generations to come.
Participation in the campaign played a crucial role in meeting the overall goal with 19,198 donors making one or more gifts to the campaign. More than 32 percent of Washburn alumni made a gift during the campaign.
“When I first came to campus, we had this attitude – and we still do – that together as a team we can achieve anything,” said Jerry Farley, president, Washburn University. “That attitude – that kind of spirit, electricity, energy – is present on Washburn’s campus every day. Our alumni and friends have that same spirit, that same belief in Washburn, and it showed during this campaign. They stepped forward in ways we never imagined, paving the way for Washburn’s future. We are truly blessed to have such a committed Washburn family.”
Natasha Martinez, a junior political science major, who recently received the Topeka Peacemaker Award for her work in student voter registration, said she is forever grateful for the donors who provided scholarships for her to attend Washburn.
“Without donors who have understood the importance of a Washburn University education, I would not be graduating in December as the first college graduate in my family,” she said. “I would also not be pursuing my goal to go to law school and continue to be a civically engaged citizen. Washburn’s motto of ‘not for ourselves alone’ will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
One of the hallmarks of the campaign was the more than $50 million earmarked to support faculty and programs. JuliAnn Mazachek, president, Washburn University Foundation, and vice president, academic affairs, Washburn University, said many donors they spoke with during the campaign mentioned a faculty member who impacted their lives and the education they received.
“Washburn has a long history of teachers with great talent and a deep commitment to each and every student,” she said. “The phenomenal support of faculty and programs tells us alumni want to pass this on to future Ichabods and ensure the next generation of dedicated, talented faculty develop innovative and relevant curriculum as well as mentor and challenge their students.”
The overall campaign will be a historical chapter in Washburn’s history. Farley and Mazachek said they are forever grateful to all of the alumni and friends who stepped forward and donated gifts of all sizes to the University.
“With the leadership and support of donors, we have developed a thriving and growing culture of giving that has already forever changed the future of Washburn University,” Mazachek said. “We can’t thank the donors enough for their support and commitment to this campaign and to the future of the University.”