"We are incredibly grateful to the many alumni, friends, community members, corporations and foundations who have invested generously in Western’s future," said Tom Burggraf, executive director of the Foundation and Western’s vice president for institutional advancement.
He added that Western’s donors have made it possible for the Foundation to consistently lead our Colorado peers in private support, even though the recession hit many hard. "Their devotion never wavered, although giving was affected over the last few years.
"As Western seizes the opportunities and faces the challenges of the future, the soon-to-be university’s devoted family of donors have come roaring back. They are standing with Western in unprecedented ways."
The 2011-12 fiscal year gift pre-audit totals represented more dollars raised than in the previous two fiscal years combined.
Western President Jay Helman said, "As state support of higher education diminishes, it is essential that private gifts fund the innovative and exciting advancements at Western and preserve our commitment to providing a transforming education, affordable to families of every socio-economic level.
"Thanks in part to donors for nearly 250 privately-funded scholarship funds at the foundation, Western students graduate with some of the lowest student-loan debt of any four-year college or university in Colorado. Private giving both elevates their education and eases their burden."
Over the past three years, WSC Foundation transferred to the college an average of $3.9 million per year in the form of scholarships, academic and athletic program support, salaries for endowed chairs, cutting-edge software, and other in-kind donations critical to Western’s mission.
The foundation closes this year with record-setting total assets of $31.5 million and net assets of $24 million.
The Foundation also welcomed eight new board members in the past year: Travis Berry (’92, owner of Political Works, Denver), Terry Brace (’74, president & CEO of Brace Leadership Associates LLC, Colorado Springs), Barry Clifford (’69, underwater explorer, National Geographic, Provincetown, Mass.), Denise Halligan (’78, Colorado Business Bank, Arvada), Doug MacGregor (friend, retired Dell executive, Gunnison), Bob McGraw (’77, president McGraw and McGraw CPA, PC, Westminster), Maxine Pierce (’74, retired bank holding company executive, Farmington, N.M.), James Shaffer (’73, president Streetscapes Inc., Aurora) and Matt Tredway (’83, retired educator, Steamboat Springs).
"We are exceedingly grateful, yet not satisfied," Foundation Board president David McEntire said. "We have only reached the base camp. As our college gives rise to a university, this is the most important time for the Western family to unite and invest in gratitude, pride and vision – to elevate Western to redefine what a small, public, liberal arts and pre-professional university of the 21st century looks like."