Photo by Jennifer Tuttor
The WT Foundation, founded right at the end of WWII in 1946, prides itself in offering immense financial support for students and staff of the West Texas A&M University. The foundation receives the gifts and disbursement is done through the office of philanthropy and external relations here at WTAMU.
The Office of Philanthropy and External Relations also oversees alumni relations, marketing and communication, development and fundraising, as well as all other operations that support the previously stated functions.
Dr. Todd W. Rasberry is the vice president for philanthropy and external relations and executive director of the WTAMU foundation.
“Our sources of revenue are very limited; we get revenue from tuition, state funds and endowments that is spent on students, faculty and programs,” Rasberry said. “The only unlimited source of funds we can have every year is what donors give to us because, it is not determined by the market, tax figure, or the number of students we can recruit.”
The educational mission is a public-private partnership and there are funds that come from public sources and WTAM as a state institution receives funding from the state. The donations the university receives thereby buffers what the state gives to support its operations. However, state funds alone do not enable WTAMU to do what the university aspires to do.To establish an endowment gift to WTAMU, the donor must offer a gift of $25,000 or more.
Buildings on campus related to donors include the Jack B. Kelly Students Center, the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities and the Amarillo Center. The One West Campaign is affiliated to the philanthropic efforts of WTAMU as well.
Lezlie Davis is the vice president for philanthropy operations at WTAMU.
“What we receive comes in three, forms: scholarships for students, program funds for faculties and professorships and student programs and building funds,”Davis said. Aside from the broader gifts we receive, the majority of gifts we receive are smaller gifts and they are people coming together to make up a larger gift for people.”
Donations made to WTAMU are invested into the people, places and the programs that the university offers. Students can take advantage of all these donations by working closely with the Office of Financial Aid and the scholarship office, as well as their advisors within their colleges and faculties to find out what sources of funding may be available to make their academic journeys easier.
“We want our students to learn and to be conscious of the fact that, they are not doing this by themselves and that there are many people investing in this university,” Rasberry said. “We want them to invest in this university while they are students and also certainly, when they become graduates and alumni of this institution.”
For more information about the Office of Philanthropy and External Relations, please contact [email protected]