The Columns

W&L Sets New Annual Fund Fundraising Record for 2014-15

— by on July 15th, 2015

In the final year of Honor Our Past, Build Our Future: The Campaign for Washington and Lee, alumni and parents gave more to the Annual Fund than ever before. At the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year on June 30, the Annual Fund raised $10,038,581, a new record — and the first time the Annual Fund reached the $10 million mark. It exceeded $9 million for the first time in 2013-14 and $8 million for the first time in 2012–2013. The new total for the Annual Fund represents an increase of $721,079, a 7.74 percent increase over the previous year.

Undergraduate alumni represented the largest group contributing to the Annual Fund — $6,948,446, an increase of 4.56 percent from the previous year. Undergraduate non-alumni parents contributed a new record — $1,672,592 to the Annual Fund through the Parents Fund, an increase of 5.9 percent from the previous year, when it reached $1.5 million for the first time. Law alumni contributed a new record to the Law Annual Fund — $1,342,912, a notable increase of 33.3 percent. Friends of the University who are not alumni or parents rounded out the Annual Fund.

Overall, W&L received $68,654,988 in new gifts and pledges, the second-highest amount since 2007 and 92 percent more than 2013-14. It also received $48,709,447 in cash from new gifts and payments on pledges made in previous years. Donors added gifts to specific programs, operations, facility renovation funds and endowments. In addition, $11.9 million in revocable planned gifts were recorded, representing an increase of $5.9 million from 2013-14.

Forty-eight percent of Washington and Lee’s operating budget now comes from contributions received and income from endowments established by supporters over the generations.

Thousands of supporters made W&L’s successful year possible. More undergraduates supported the university than at any other time, leading to an undergraduate participation rate of 54.2 percent, one of the nation’s best. It is the fifth consecutive year the participation rate exceeded 50 percent. The number of non-alumni parents contributing to the Parents Fund and other University priorities increased this year by 18 percent.

“It is a long-standing tradition for Washington and Lee to benefit from the confidence, loyalty and generosity of its alumni, parents and friends,” said Dennis W. Cross, vice president for university advancement. “What the university has received in support in 2014-15 and in the seven years of the campaign is unparalleled. Our students, faculty and programs benefit from our supporters. They care deeply about W&L and today’s students. Alumni benefited from the philanthropy of others when they were students, and they join parents in the present in wanting to make a W&L education possible for this generation of students. As President Ruscio has pointed out, it is an intergenerational contract important to our community, and one that makes a Washington and Lee education possible.”