Worcester State College will announce today that the largest fundraising campaign in its history has raised $12.3 million–surpassing the extended goal of $12 million announced in October 2009. “This accomplishment is especially gratifying,” said Worcester State Foundation Board President David Bedard, “because we were able to surpass our goal during very challenging economic times.” The announcement will be made at the Worcester State Foundation annual meeting this evening.
“Rather than declaring victory and closing our campaign when we met our original goal of $10 million last fall, we made the bold decision to set our sights on a more ambitious goal of $12 million,” explained President Janelle Ashley, “because our students’ needs are so great. We are fortunate to have such a large community of loyal and generous donors who have reached and surpassed the bar every time we have raised it.”
The Opportunity for a Lifetime campaign raised $4,055,478 for scholarships, $3,804,658 for academic development, and $4,503,027 for the unrestricted endowment. In all, 112 new funds were added during the campaign, including 70 new scholarship funds and 42 new academic funds. More than $1.17 million was raised for campus expansion initiatives.
So far, $4.6 million in campaign contributions are directly benefiting students. When possible, donations were put to work immediately and supported advancements such as research grants to faculty, a new liberal arts and sciences curriculum, expansion of the nursing program, theater renovations, a new green chemistry program as well as campus expansion and enhancement projects and new scholarships.
By matching donor interests with the needs of WSC, the Worcester State Foundation built momentum for the campaign. “That, combined with the pressing needs of our students in this uncertain economy, paved the way for the success we will celebrate today at the Foundation Board’s annual meeting,” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement Thomas M. McNamara.
Sixty-four gifts and pledges of $25,000 and higher are among the thousands of commitments recorded during the campaign and include the following:
- $1 million from Albert J. Pilon Jr. for scholarships
- Over $725,000 from the Fuller Foundation for the theater renovation, academic programs, and scholarships
- Nearly $400,000 from Fairlawn Foundation for WSC’s Nursing program
- $350,000 from the George I. Alden Trust to renovate the library
- $250,000 from The Stoddard Charitable Trust for the new green chemistry program
- Nearly $250,000 from the Davis Educational
- Foundation to revise the liberal arts and sciences curriculum
- Nearly $250,000 from Chartwells, WSC’s food service provider, for campus improvements, scholarships and the unrestricted endowment
- $170,000 from the United Way of Central Massachusetts for academic programs
- $150,000 from the L.G. Balfour Foundation for academic programs
- Nearly $140,000 from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation for academic programs
- Over $130,000 from Follett Higher Education Group for scholarships and the unrestricted endowment
- $130,000 from Worcester State Foundation Board member Gene DeFeudis for a scholarship fund
- Over $110,000 in equipment from AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Products for the chemistry program
Recent corporate support comes from Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of New England, which provided over $500,000 for the unrestricted endowment and scholarship support as part of an expanded sponsorship agreement, and DCU and Reach Out for Schools, which granted $50,000 over five years for a student textbook fund.
Alumni are nearly 60 percent of the 7,639 donors who made gifts to “Opportunity for a Lifetime: A Campaign for the Future of Worcester State College.” Their gifts and pledges include the following:
- $2 million from Steve Keenan and his wife, Jackie, for the unrestricted endowment
- Nearly $600,000 from James Sheehan for scholarship and academic award funds
- Over $250,000 from Gregg and Pamela Rosen for the unrestricted endowment and a scholarship fund
- Over $250,000 from Phillip M. Wasylean II for the unrestricted endowment and a scholarship fund
- Nearly $60,000 from Francis Crimmins for a scholarship fund
The campaign enjoys solid support from WSC board members. Participation by members of the Board of Trustees, Foundation Board, and Alumni Association’s Advisory Board is over 90 percent, and includes the following recent commitments:
- A $25,000 pledge by Board of Trustees Chair and Foundation Board member John Brissette to create an athletics fund
- A $25,000 pledge by Trustee and Foundation Board member George Tetler and his wife, Sheila for a scholarship fund
- A $10,000 gift by Trustee and Worcester State Foundation Board member George Albro and his wife, Lillian, for an academic award fund
- A $5,000 pledge by Trustee Steve Bostic for a scholarship fund
“The Foundation originally set out to raise twice as much as the college’s previous campaign,” McNamara added. “Our donors are why we reached this goal—and surpassed it not once but twice—and the college is very grateful.”
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