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W&L Enjoys Record Year in Fundraising

Washington and Lee University closed the books on another successful fund-raising year in 2010-11, with $35.5 million in new gifts and pledges and the highest percentage of alumni in history donating to the University’s Annual Fund.

The Annual Fund exceeded its $7.3 million goal, recording a $400,000 increase over last year’s record-setting total. The more than $7.4 million that the Annual Fund received reflects a 5.8 percent increase over 2009-10.

University Records New Gifts of $35.5 million; Annual Fund Participation Tops 50 Percent

Overall, Washington and Lee received more than $60.8 million in cash receipts during the past fiscal year. New gifts and pledges totaled $35.5 million. The majority of the donations benefit the endowment, but they also support the general academic operating budget and the physical plant, such as the historic Colonnade. Gifts and income from previous endowments provide more than 40 percent of the University’s budget each year.

For the first time in Washington and Lee’s history, more than 50 percent of its undergraduate alumni made a gift during this past fiscal year. Over 40 percent of law alumni made gifts as well. The total number of donors-including alumni, parents and friends-making a gift to the University increased by 3 percent.

“Having more than 50 percent of Washington and Lee’s undergraduate alumni make a gift to the University is a historic milestone that we are very pleased to have reached,” said Tres Mullis, executive director of University development. “It is a tangible indicator of the level of affinity and connection that we know alumni feel toward their alma mater. As the support of alumni plays a critical role in sustaining the University each year, maintaining broad participation at 50 percent and above is a high priority.”

Every gift received in 2010-11 counts toward the University’s capital campaign, “Honor our Past, Build our Future.” To date, W&L has raised $339 million of its $500 million campaign goal.

“As President Kenneth P. Ruscio reminded us at the public launch of the campaign in October, ‘Our inheritance from the past becomes our duty to the future’,” commented Dennis Cross, vice president for University advancement. “Washington and Lee’s alumni, parents and friends showed once again this year that they want to support an institution and campus that is very important to them. They are willing to give generously to support today’s remarkable students, dedicated faculty and staff, and programs at the heart of a strong liberal arts and legal education built on integrity and character and relevant to personal and professional lives in the 21st century.”