Private Donations Support UW's Commitment to Excellence

August 25, 2010

University of Wyoming alumni and friends continue to advance UW through private giving. The UW Foundation has reported another successful year of gift contributions to UW totaling $29.2 million in the fiscal year ending June 30.

Additionally, $4.9 million was transferred to UW from the state of Wyoming's facilities and endowment matching program as a direct result of the payment of private gift commitments. New estate gift expectancies of $3.5 million were reported to UW, bringing the UW Foundation's total for private gift production to $37.6 million during the past fiscal year.

"Once again, we have seen incredible support for the University of Wyoming," says UW President Tom Buchanan. "From private individuals and public corporations, from one-time gifts and planned estate giving, each and every gift makes a difference to the quality of the educational experience at UW. It would be impossible for us to keep our current momentum if not for the extraordinary level of contributions from UW's alumni and friends."

Private giving plays a key role in the advancement of the University of Wyoming. Philanthropy provides UW an important extra margin of support that builds upon the university's public funding.

"Even in this challenging fundraising environment, supporters of the university have continued to invest in excellence," says Greg Dyekman, UW Foundation Board chairman. "We will continue working hard to make it possible for donors to make an immediate difference in areas for which they have passion. We will also emphasize opportunities for planned gifts that will result in lasting impacts at UW."

Major gift highlights to the university during the past fiscal year include Peabody Energy ($2 million for clean coal technology), Ultra Petroleum ($1 million for the School of Energy Resources), a major anonymous gift ($1 million for programs campus-wide) and Patrick and Nancy Higgins ($340,000 for the College of Business).

Significant gift commitments were made to UW through estate contributions during the past fiscal year. Special members of the UW alumni and friends family supported UW through their legacy gifts including $3.5 million from Bill Campbell for UW athletics, $1.6 million from Irene Barkhurst for scholarships, approximately $1.5 million from Ambassador Thomas F. Stroock for the College of Business/International Programs/American Heritage Center, $1 million from historian and librarian Emmett Chisum for UW Libraries, $750,000 from teacher Altamae Van Zant for the College of Education, and $622,000 from Sen. Cliff Hansen for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

"It is humbling to note the unwavering commitment that UW's alumni and friends have to provide greater higher education opportunities for our students and faculty," says Ben Blalock, UW Foundation president. "Private giving plays such an important role in elevating the excellence of Wyoming's university. It is a great honor to work with so many members of the UW family who want to strengthen UW through philanthropy."

The State Matching Program was discontinued in 2009, but previously committed funds secured through pledge commitments are being funded. The program was established in 2001 by the Wyoming State Legislature with the mission to provide additional support to the University of Wyoming by encouraging private donations. In total, the program has contributed $140.2 million to double endowment and facilities gifts to specific UW programs and projects.

In total, 22,869 contributions were given to the university during the past fiscal years from alumni, friends, corporations and foundations.

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 of Wyoming. The foundation partners with UW to enhance the university's programs and projects to meet current and future needs through private giving.

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