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Private Giving to UW Exceeds Gift Goal for FY 2009

September 15, 2009

Private giving to the University of Wyoming reached $35.9 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, exceeding the goal of $35 million.

Additionally, $84.4 million in software was donated by Schlumberger, a global oilfield and information services company. The university also received $12.3 million in support from the state of Wyoming through its facilities and endowment matching program as a direct result of private support.

"This level of support from UW's alumni and friends is simply extraordinary," says UW President Tom Buchanan. "In a year when the nation's economic difficulties impacted all of us, the continued generosity of our public and private donors reflects the confidence they have in the university and their belief that UW is one of the nation's best public land-grant universities. It would be impossible for us to keep our current momentum if not for their support."

"We are blessed with outstanding alumni and friends who love the university and consistently show their love with generous gifts that allow the foundation to support the university with funds for scholarships, academic chairs, and other university priorities," says Pat Rile, UW Foundation Board chairman for FY 2009. "Recently, UW was recognized as one of the top five 'Best Values' in the country, and this was due in part to the tremendous support of our donors."

Thousands of UW supporters continue to make UW a philanthropic priority every year, says Ben Blalock, UW Foundation president. The total number of contributors in FY 2009 was 22,708 alumni and friends.

"Our students are the ultimate beneficiaries," Blalock says. "Private gifts provide the margin of excellence that elevates UW to new heights. Working with our generous contributors is indeed a privilege and a pleasure."

The total includes $2 million from John and Mari Ann Martin to athletics, $1.5 million from Arch Coal to the School of Energy Resources, $1.5 million from the estate of Linda Wells to the College of Health Sciences, $596,200 from Vice President Dick and Mrs. Lynne Cheney for study abroad scholarships and the Cheney International Center, $500,000 from Mickey and Jeanne Klein to the College of Education in honor of Gov. Mike and Mrs. Jane Sullivan, and $200,000 from George and Eleanor Kambouris to the College of Arts and Sciences (which brings their lifetime total to over $1 million).

Many of the key gifts to UW were doubled through the state's matching program. This program, unique to the state of Wyoming, began in March 2001 to provide additional support to UW by encouraging private donations. Under this program, endowment gifts of at least $50,000 and facilities gifts of at least $25,000 were matched dollar for dollar.

"We cannot underestimate the tremendous impact the state matching fund program has had on UW's fundraising success," says Buchanan. "It not only allowed donors to double the effectiveness of their gifts, but it was yet another avenue for the state to continue its significant financial support of UW and its investment in education."

The program has supported or will support UW's students, faculty, programs, and facilities with $140.2 million in endowment and facilities matches. Although the program has been recently discontinued due to state budget reductions, its impact on the university continues.

Significant gifts also were received in the form of major software contributions for the university's energy programs from Schlumberger and Halliburton, and Dorothy and Herbert Vogel contributed artwork from their collection "Fifty Works for Fifty States."

Property such as artwork, software and equipment is counted as gifts in kind. In recent years, UW has begun to receive a significant increase in in-kind support due its expanding energy programs.

The significant impact of private donations can be seen across campus. This fall, the William N. Brimmer Legal Education Center and the Cheney International Center are being dedicated, and ground is being broken for the Robert and Carol Berry Biodiversity and Conservation Center. Additionally, students are supported by scholarships; professors are supported with chairs, professorships, and research funding; and annual fund drives provide critical support for a broad range of campus activities, Blalock says.

Established in 1962, the University of Wyoming Foundation is an independent nonprofit corporation appointed by the UW Board of Trustees to raise, receive, and manage private gifts to maximize support for the university. Private support enables UW achieve its mission to provide accessible and affordable higher education of the highest quality.


Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2009

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