Annual Fund Completes Strong Campaign, Exceeds $10M Generous alumni, parents and friends contributed more than $10 million to W&L's Annual Fund in the 2021-22 fiscal year.
“Our alumni, parents and friends recognize the importance of giving back to W&L and do so through their generous time and philanthropy.”
~ Tom Jennings, vice president for university advancement
Thanks to the generosity of Washington and Lee alumni, parents, students and friends, the 2021-2022 Annual Fund had a tremendous year, raising more than $10 million for the university, an increase of 8.79% over the previous year. Giving was up among all constituent groups: undergraduate alumni, law alumni and parents.
The Annual Fund first exceeded $10 million in 2015 and has raised more than $10 million in seven of the past eight years.
Undergraduate alumni, whose participation was up 9% over last year, supported the university with gifts totaling more than $6.7 million and exceeding the goal by three percent. Additionally, the Law Annual Fund exceeded its fundraising goal by a phenomenal 17% and exceeded last year’s total by $238,155.
W&L had not hosted a typical Alumni Weekend on campus since 2019, and the university welcomed alumni and guests from the reunion classes of 1972-2007 back to campus in May 2022. More than 200 reunion volunteers worked throughout the year to encourage classmates to register and raise money for class gifts. Among the reunion giving highlights: the Class of 1997 became the youngest class ever to raise more than $1 million in commitments for the Annual Fund in its reunion year, the Class of 2002 raised the second-largest gift for the 20th reunion, and the 25th and 50th reunion classes have committed over $5 million to areas outside of the Annual Fund.
Tom Jennings, vice president for university advancement at W&L, attributes the Annual Fund’s success to its strong volunteer leadership and dedicated alumni. “We could not achieve these results each year without the extraordinary support of our volunteers including the Annual Fund Council, Law Council, Parents Leadership Council, class agents and reunion volunteers,” said Jennings. “Our alumni, parents and friends recognize the importance of giving back to W&L and do so through their generous time and philanthropy.”
Andrew Tate ’98 served in his fifth and final year as Annual Fund Chair during 2021-2022. Anne and Tom MacCowatt P ’18 ’22 led the Parents Fund for the past two years, and Calvin Awkward ’06 ’09L, Nan Hannah ’93L and Patrick Barthle ’12L served as Law Annual Fund Co-Chairs.
Annual Fund volunteers totaled 471, including Annual Fund Council members, class agents, reunion volunteers and the senior class gift committee. Law had 268 volunteers, including Law Council members, class agents and the Young Alumni Council. The Parents Leadership Council had 185 volunteers.
The Annual Fund is an important component of W&L’s overall fundraising efforts, which generated new gifts and commitments totaling $42.1 million during the 2022 fiscal year. This amount is 55% higher than the previous year’s total and more than 16% higher than the university’s five-year average of total new gift commitments.
W&L’s Annual Fund plays a vital part in strengthening the foundation of the university’s strategic plan, and these gifts help make a world-class education for every student a reality. The university is incredibly grateful for this support and looks forward to welcoming alumni and parents to campus this fall.