WT Smashes Fundraising Record As Momentum Builds for Historic Campaign 

Chip Chandler

Students in front of the Buffalo Fountain at WTAMU. Photo provided by WTAMU Communication and Marketing

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, [email protected]

CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University achieved a record-setting year of fundraising in fiscal year 2021, securing more than $15 million in donations from individuals, foundations and businesses.

“Such philanthropic support shows the incredible faith that the people of this region and beyond have in WT as the Texas Panhandle’s University,” said WT President Walter V. Wendler. “Despite the myriad of challenges faced in 2020 and into this year, donors are fueling our mission to be a Regional Research University.”

As of Aug. 31, the end of the fiscal year, the WTAMU Foundation had raised $15,038,118. That’s nearly $1 million higher than the previous record-setting year — fiscal year 2018, when WT raised just over $14 million.

“We have been working to organize and align operations for increased fundraising. In the middle of our reorganization and hiring new staff, we experienced a pandemic the likes of which none of us had experienced in our lifetime,” said Dr. Todd Rasberry, vice president for philanthropy and external relations. “I credit this historic achievement to the passion of our donors, the talent and skill of our fundraising team, and the leadership of the foundation and the University.”

The fundraising record is especially significant because WT is preparing the public launch of a historic comprehensive campaign in an invitation-only event set for Sept. 23, followed by a public announcement Sept. 25. The campaign is designed to fuel WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World, the University’s long-range plan.

In FY21, WT saw increased giving in multiple areas.

In February, High Plains Christian Ministries Foundation made a historic $3 million gift, just one of many donations made by area foundations. The HPCMF gift supports the total renovation of the Baptist Community Services Nursing Education Floor at Harrington Academic Hall WTAMU Amarillo Campus and funds two new endowed professorships.

In August, Paul Engler and the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation made another $1 million presentation, part of their historic $80 million gift to WT, currently the largest gift in University history. The gift jointly supports the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business and the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

In November, Amarillo philanthropists Bob and Lanna Hatton established a new endowment fund valued at more than $1 million through their estate for the College of Education and Social Sciences. The fund will be used for the improvement of the quality of educators and educational programs that impact as many students as possible.

In April, a $2.8 million gift from the estate of Dr. Jenny Lind Porter Scott was received, earmarked toendow three professorships and a scholarship fund, as well as support a significant legacy initiative to expand holdings and programs of Cornette Library’s Texas Poets’ Corner.

Annual giving also added to the total, such as the record-setting 36 years of consecutive giving by Dr. James Owens, professor of finance and the Hodges Professor of Corporate Governance in the Engler College of Business. Owens has taught at WT for 42 years and his giving streak is unmatched by any other donor.

Philanthropic gifts may include securities, donor-advised fund gifts, estate gifts, charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts, life insurance, gift annuity or beneficiary designation of retirement funds, to name a few.

“All gifts are important and appreciated as WT secures its position as a regional research university and as a vital part of the bedrock of the Texas Panhandle,” Rasberry said.

To make a gift, contact the WTAMU Foundation at 806-651-2070 or visit wtamu.edu/give.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.


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