WKU Announces $23.1 Million in Private Gifts, Breaking School Record

Aug 5, 2016

The WKU Augenstein Alumni Center
Credit Kevin Willis

Western Kentucky University’s latest fundraising totals are the highest in school history.

The school announced today that it raised $23.1 million in donations during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

That’s a 22 percent increase over the school’s previous record.

Marc Archambault, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at WKU, says he was impressed by the number of donations made by people who aren’t WKU graduates.

“Forty-five percent of the dollars that were contributed in this last fiscal year came from ‘friends’—people unaffiliated with the university,” he said.

The contributions made to WKU last fiscal year include nearly $10 million for the school’s endowment, and nearly $8 million for student scholarships.

Archambault says increasing private giving has taken on greater importance following years of decreased state funding for higher education.

The WKU VP says one of the school’s goals is to reach out to younger donors. Archambault thinks creating online crowdfunding campaigns for WKU projects is one way to do that.

“This particular program is going to allow students, for example, to go overseas and experience a different culture. But for them to have this opportunity, we’re going to need $5,200. Who’s excited about stepping up? In particular, this sort of opportunity really ignites millennials when they can very clearly see what the benefit’s going to be.”

The $23.1 million raised by the school in private gifts last fiscal year includes donations from more than 14,000 people, who made more than 29,000 individual gifts.