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UW Institutional Fundraising Priorities Plan Unveiled

Sept. 12, 2008 -- The University of Wyoming's goal to raise $150 million during the next four years will support nine identified fundraising priorities.

The rigorous fundraising efforts will chart the course of philanthropic activities for the university and the UW Foundation for the next five years, UW officials say.

"Every five years, the University of Wyoming undertakes a very deliberate and thoughtful planning process to guide the future of the institution," says UW President, Tom Buchanan. "The development of institutional fundraising priorities is designed to support the vision established in the University Plan."

The UW Institutional Fundraising Priorities will serve as a blueprint to help the university focus its vision and achieve its goals in working closely with UW's generous private contributors and the Wyoming State Legislature through its matching funds programs, says Ben Blalock, UW Foundation president.

"These priorities are the catalyst to generate enthusiasm and excitement among the university's many dedicated alumni, engaged supporters and generous friends and donors," Blalock adds. "The UW Institutional Fundraising Priorities focus UW's development activities to ensure that the university has maximum leverage required for raising funds to inspire leadership and distinction."

In its recent meeting with the UW Foundation Board, the UW Board of Trustees outlined nine major areas of emphasis for fundraising:

-- Exploring creativity and imagination in the arts: Fine and performing arts -- enhance cultural assets, arts and humanities, including initiatives in the UW College of Arts and Sciences, Art Museum and American Heritage Center.

-- Enhancing the graduate experience: Graduate student support -- advance graduate and professional education across the university with additional fellowships and assistantships.

-- Empowering the nontraditional learner: Nontraditional student support -- establish scholarships and stipend support for nontraditional, part-time and off-campus students and provide resources to promote their success.

-- Reaching out to Wyoming: Service to Wyoming and its residents -- strengthen partnership with Wyoming community colleges and respond to the economic needs of Wyoming, focusing on collaborative research and partnership with industry, government and the private sector.

-- Powering Wyoming's future: Energy, environment and natural resources -- encourage programs which promote, sustain, and build the university's areas of distinction in energy, environment and natural resources.

-- Promoting political and cultural leadership: The Simpson Family Fund for Excellence in Political and Cultural Leadership-- support and expand programs in honor of the Simpson family's political and cultural heritage.

-- Cultivating a global perspective: International student experiences -- provide an advantageous environment for university students to acquire the competencies and perspectives necessary to be engaged in a changing, challenging, and interdependent global society.

-- Advancing athletic excellence: Athletic program support -- promote abundant opportunities for physical health, athletic competition and development in the areas of leadership and teamwork.

-- Fostering academic innovation: Academic program support -- provide a strong source of unrestricted gift revenue, retain and enhance current professorships in areas of distinction. Also, build excellence in capital facilities and infrastructure through targeted improvements in educational facilities.

The UW Institutional Fundraising Priorities are an example of a close partnership between the university and the UW Foundation, Blalock says.

"Accomplishing progress on these priorities will require heightened levels of teamwork, collaboration and an army of dedicated fundraising and academic professionals working in concert to exceed the previously demonstrated philanthropic success of the University of Wyoming," he says.

In remarks to the Foundation Board, Buchanan made special note of three of the priority areas saying funding for the fine arts is important for long-range economic development in Wyoming because a vibrant presence in the arts is "essential to Wyoming's quality of life."

With the establishment of the state's Hathaway Scholarship program for undergraduates, Buchanan says funding to support students pursuing graduate and professional degrees has assumed a greater priority in UW's efforts to attract private philanthropy.

He adds that the priority category "Fostering Academic Innovation" includes fundraising to support and retain UW's "outstanding faculty members in an increasingly competitive national market."

Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2008

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