Thanks to more alumni and parents giving than ever before, Washington and Lee concluded another successful fundraising year on June 30. The Annual Fund raised $9.32 million, a new record—and the first time the Annual Fund reached the $9 million mark. It exceeded $8 million for the first time in 2012–2013.
Undergraduate alumni represented the largest group contributing to the Annual Fund, giving more than $6.6 million, an increase of 5.58 percent from the previous year. Undergraduate non-alumni parents contributed $1.58 million to the Annual Fund through the Parents Fund, the first time that fund has exceeded the $1.4 and $1.5 million levels. Law alumni contributed slightly more than $1 million, the second time annual gifts from that group have exceeded $1 million. Friends of the University who are not alumni or parents rounded out the Annual Fund.
Overall, W&L received $35.8 million in new gifts and pledges, the second highest amount since 2007. It also received $54.9 million in cash from new gifts and payments on pledges made in previous years. Donors added gifts to specific programs, operations, facility renovation funds and endowments.
Forty-three percent of Washington and Lee's operating budget now comes from contributions received and income from endowments established by supporters over the generations.
Thousands of supporters made W&L's successful year possible. For example, 340 more undergraduate alumni contributed than in 2012–2013, thereby helping meet The Generals' Challenge for participation with 54.7 percent, one of the nation's best. It is the third consecutive year the participation rate exceeded 50 percent. The Generals' Challenge is a multi-year effort to raise undergraduate participation to 55 percent by June 30, 2015. The number of non-alumni parents contributing to the Parents Fund and other University priorities increased this year by 27.6 percent.
As "Honor Our Past, Build Our Future: The Campaign for Washington and Lee" enters its final year, with a conclusion set for June 30, 2015, the campaign had raised $464 million as of June 30, 2014. The campaign began comprehensively in July 2008 and had a public kickoff in October 2010 with a goal of $500 million. The campaign is well positioned to conclude with a result that will be at least the second best campaign ever at a national liberal arts college.
Priorities in the last year of the campaign will include scholarship endowments; completing fundraising for Tucker Hall as the last piece of the Colonnade renovation; the final $1.2 million to complete the Center for Global Learning; new indoor athletic/recreation facilities, including a replacement for the Warner Center, the renovation of Doremus Gym and a new natatorium; and the continuing growth of the Annual Fund.
"Washington and Lee is blessed with a vast network of alumni who care deeply about the University and appreciate their experience," said Dennis Cross, vice president for University advancement. "We are also pleased that parents perceive the value in their children's education at W&L and are willing to make gifts in gratitude. The W&L community is part of a proud philanthropic tradition that continues to grow and involves hundreds of volunteers. We look forward to the return of our students and the academic year ahead. Their education and the strength of the University are parts of a shared enterprise that is uniquely Washington and Lee."