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Private Giving to UW tops $50 Million for Second Year

August 28, 2014
Engineering building main entrance
Among the UW priorities for private giving will be a major upgrade of the College of Engineering and Applied Science building. (UW Photo)

For the fiscal year ending June 30, private giving to the University of Wyoming reached $50.7 million, the second year in a row that UW fundraising has exceeded $50 million.

“This year’s fundraising total is again exceptional,” says UW President Dick McGinity. “I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the individuals, corporations and foundations who have given their vote of confidence in the University of Wyoming. This support will allow Wyoming’s university the extra edge to educate our students, to serve the state and to provide excellence in everything that we do.”

“More than 24,000 members of the UW family contributed to Wyoming’s university during the past year,” reports Ben Blalock, UW Foundation president/CEO. “The UW family is a remarkable team. The pride in UW felt by a worldwide network of UW alumni and friends is very clearly articulated through the success of private giving projects. When ever-increasing levels of private giving are combined with significant state funding, the result is truly transformational for our university.”

Achieving this milestone would not be possible without the generosity of donors, Blalock says. Private giving is directed by the UW Foundation and guided by UW’s fundraising priorities, which include engineering and energy, literacy, the environment and natural resources, and athletics.

“A second year of fundraising in excess of $50 million proves that the partnership among the University of Wyoming, the Legislature of our state, and the donors who give so generously, is stronger than ever,” says Scott Neu, current UW Foundation board chair. “It is also a testament to the hard work of the staff of the foundation.”

In addition to the fundraising accomplishment, new partnerships were created and new heights were reached with private donors and corporations.

Hess Corporation committed $5 million to support construction of UW’s new High Bay Research Facility and its essential technology and equipment used for research into unconventional reservoirs of oil and gas. Hess’ total commitments to UW -- gifts and research -- now total $10 million, which has leveraged $8.7 million in state matching funds. This donation makes Hess the largest corporate donor in UW’s history.

Halliburton, a leading oil field services company, also supported the High Bay Research Facility, gifting $2 million to support the construction. Additionally, Halliburton is funding $1 million for research into unconventional reservoirs. The state of Wyoming matched this donation, bringing Halliburton’s support to $6 million.

To be located on north 19th Street, the High Bay Research Facility will contain approximately 60,000 square feet with large-scale, flexibly configured research laboratories, offices and meeting areas. It is one of three energy- and engineering-related facilities that are university priorities for private giving. The other two are the future upgrade of UW’s College of Engineering and Applied Science and the Energy Innovation Center completed in 2012.

Athletics achieved a record $12.8 million in donations to support renovations and student-athletes. Maurice W. Brown donated $3 million to the Arena-Auditorium renovation, and the court will be named the Maurice W. Brown Court in his honor. Mick and Susie McMurry, through the McMurry Foundation, supported the AA renovation with a $2 million donation.

The $30 million Arena-Auditorium renovation will provide the men’s and women’s teams with improved practice facilities, first-class locker rooms, and strength and conditioning and sports medicine areas. The state of Wyoming has matched private donations and appropriated $5 million for the project.

“The UW Foundation Board is so proud of the amazing UW supporters who stepped forward to ensure the success of the University of Wyoming and the futures of Wyoming’s students,” says Clayton Hartman, former chair of the UW Foundation Board of Directors. “We work hard to honor the trust placed in us by donors, alumni, friends and the university. Wyoming’s university deserves the best we can give.”

Notable gifts from the past year in the million-dollar and above category include the following.

-- Hess Corporation for engineering facilities and research.

-- Lawrence (Larry) A. Carrell for engineering.

-- Maurice W. Brown for athletics facilities.

-- Donne and Sue Fisher for literacy.

-- Halliburton for engineering facilities and research.

-- Whitney and Betty MacMillan for environment and natural resources.

-- McMurry Foundation for athletics facilities.

-- Greg and Loren Hill for facilities.

-- Dale and Lynn Hiatt for rodeo.

Included in the $50.7 million is annual giving, which surpassed $5 million for the fourth straight year and achieved a new record of $5.6 million. Annual giving encompasses all unrestricted gifts that support UW’s colleges and departments and incorporates the fundraising success of Wyoming Public Media and the Cowboy Joe Club. UW Foundation annual giving reaches all UW alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends on a yearly basis.

In addition, planned giving plays a vital role in university support, and alumni and friends are remembering UW in their estate plans in ever-increasing numbers. In the 2014 fiscal year, $2.9 million in planned gifts were realized in the form of gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, matured bequests, IRA rollover gifts, and other planned giving vehicles. In addition, $8.2 million of new bequest commitments were pledged to the university during the same period.

Philanthropy provides Wyoming’s only four-year university an important extra margin of support that builds upon the university’s public funding. The university’s endowment as of June of this year totals $410.4 million. Assets managed by the UW Foundation have grown significantly over the years and have allowed donors to support an expanding number of students, faculty and academic programs.

UW and the UW Foundation continue to build on their strong strategic partnership, matching donors’ passions with university priorities. Founded in 1962, the UW Foundation is an independent, nonprofit corporation dedicated to securing, managing and stewarding private gifts in support of UW’s missions in teaching, research and public service.

Hear Ben Blalock, UW Foundation president/CEO, talk about private giving at the University of Wyoming.Hear Ben Blalock, UW Foundation president/CEO, talk about private giving at the University of Wyoming.

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