WVU Foundation raises more than $161 million, second-highest in history

MORGANTOWN — The WVU Foundation raised more than $161 million during Fiscal Year 2018, making it the second-highest fundraising year in its history, the foundation reported.

The exact figure was $161,029,056; it came from 23,161 donors who gave 46,056 gifts during the period of July 1, 2017 through June 30 this year. About half the donors, 12,471 are alumni. Thirty-one donors gave $1 million or more, accounting for $96.5 million or 60 percent of the $161 million.

The highest year for giving, the foundation said, was FY 2012, when $173.9 million came in.

Foundation spokesman Bill Nevin said this year’s gifts went to all areas of the university — academics, research, sports, health sciences and scholarships. “It really ran the gamut.”

Typically, about 97 percent of foundation’s gifts are considered restricted or earmarked — that is, they go to a specific purpose, Nevin said.

For example, Verl and Sandra Purdy gave $5 million:

$4 million goes to the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources to fund endowed scholarships, faculty fellowships and an endowed faculty chair; $1 million will be split evenly between the College of Business and Economics and WVU Athletics to fund endowed scholarships and an endowed experiential opportunity fund at B&E and a golf program endowment at athletics.

Donors Herb and Rita Sanger gave $1 million for WVU Athletics.

The remaining 3 percent is unrestricted for the foundation to use as it sees fit, Nevin said.

The Foundation’s State of Mind campaign ended Dec. 31, so the portion of the $161 million raised by that date went to that campaign, Nevin said. State of Mind, started July 1, 2007, raised a total $1.219 billion.

In a press release, B.J. Davisson, foundation executive vice president and chief development officer, commented, “Mountaineer Nation is a loyal, generous bunch. On behalf of my colleagues at the foundation and all those at WVU who benefit from private giving, I want to thank each donor for their giving spirit which is having such a positive, lasting impact across the university system.”

Sixty-two percent of the money raised came from individuals while 27 percent was funded by corporations. Foundations and trusts round out the total, the foundation said.

The foundation’s strategic plan calls for it to increase overall annual fundraising to $135 million by FY 2020, which starts July 1, 2019 — meaning they’re a year ahead of schedule.

“Obviously, we had a fantastic year here in Fiscal Year 2018,” Nevin said.

The foundation board will consider that when it meets in August.

“Based on the fantastic response we had from our alumni and friends, the board will look at the strategic plan and see where we want to go moving forward.”

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