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WVU’s ‘State of Minds’ fundraising campaign tops historic $1 billion goal 

WVU Today Release:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University has achieved a historic milestone in its private fundraising efforts, surpassing the $1 billion goal in its “State of Minds” campaign more than a year before the deadline, University and WVU Foundation announced Friday (Sept. 30).

Alumni and friends of WVU contributed $1,003,650,037 to the campaign through Aug. 31, officials said during a special announcement at Erickson Alumni Center with Foundation and University representatives, donors and friends present, putting WVU on a list with only 36 other four-year public universities across the country that have successfully raised more than $1 billion.

“I believe our world’s best days lie ahead. West Virginia’s best days lie ahead,” President Gordon Gee said. “And by supporting the State of Minds Campaign, our donors are summoning that bright future, one dollar and one life at a time.”

Officials also said Friday that a special $50 million “Dream First” scholarship initiative launched last year as part of the campaign had exceeded its goal at $50.9 million.

Campaign donations thus far have established 697 student scholarships, 52 chairs and professorships and 213 funds to assist research efforts.

The campaign publically launched June 2, 2012, with an original goal of $750 million and a deadline of December 2015. That goal was shattered in the summer of 2014, and the campaign was extended to December 2017 with a new goal of $1 billion.

“Right from the public launch, this campaign experienced tremendous success,” said Verl Purdy, a 1964 alumnus and national co-chair of the campaign. “And there was no letup when we announced the extension. An investment of this proportion by our passionately committed University family is remarkable.”

The original campaign goal of $750 million was three times larger than the previous “Building Greatness” campaign from 1998-2003.

Fundraising has focused on University-wide campaign priority areas that align with the University’s 2020 Strategic Plan for the Future. Gift commitments in each of these areas through Aug. 31 show:

  • $488.5 million – Enhance the undergraduate student experience and global education.
  • $201.1 million – Advance the research initiative of the University.
  • $106.4 million – Enable WVU to improve West Virginia’s health, economy, quality of life.
  • $104.6 million – Enhance WVU through professional and graduate education.
  • $102.9 million – Foster faculty excellence.

From the above gift commitments, $239.8 million will be used to support healthcare through research, education and patient care.

Foundation officials say 86,027 donors have given 340,007 gifts to the campaign. This includes donations from 35,606 alumni. The largest percentage of donations to the campaign, 50 percent, has come from individuals. The rest of the contributions have come from a large number of different sources including corporations, foundations, trusts and estates.

Both University and Foundation officials made it clear that while the $1 billion goal has been reached, the campaign is not over and will continue through its announced end date of Dec. 31, 2017.

Gee said the focus of the campaign for the remaining 15 months will be on the University’s strategic pillars of education, healthcare and broad-based prosperity.

“While we celebrate the success thus far, there is much work yet to do,” he said. “Our University – and the state of West Virginia – must continue to transform. We must work together as one to provide the best education, healthcare and economic opportunities for all.”

Campaign co-chair Bob Reynolds, a 1974 graduate, said, “Now, more than ever with the financial challenges facing the University, our focus as a foundation needs to be on our mission to support the University through private philanthropy. Our loyal and generous alumni and friends have never let us down, and I am confident over the next 15 months, that they will continue to give, and we’ll finish this campaign stronger than ever.”

WVU Foundation President and CEO Cindi Roth added, “The Foundation staff is looking forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with President Gee and the University community for the remainder of this campaign. Our top goal is to make sure the needs of WVU are met through private support. We, too, are very grateful for the thousands of alumni and friends who have said ‘yes’ to this campaign. Mountaineers, do indeed, go first!”

Also speaking at the event were WVU senior Dillon Muhly-Alexander of Doddridge County and WVU sophomore Cristin Dolan of Ohio County, both recipients of the WVU Foundation Scholarship. They discussed how private giving to WVU has positively affected their lives and opened many doors of opportunity for success.

For more on “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University,” visit

The WVU Foundation was chartered in 1954 to secure, hold and administer funds and properties given by individuals, corporations and philanthropic foundations in support of WVU.

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