WT Smashes Fundraising Records in Fiscal Year 2022


Chip Chandler

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

CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University shattered fundraising records in fiscal year 2022, the first year of its historic One West comprehensive campaign.

More than $73 million was raised in major and annual gifts between Sept. 1, 2021, and Aug. 31 of this year. That’s nearly $60 million more than the amount raised in fiscal year 2021, the previous record-setting year.

“Hands down, it is the donors that make a fundraising campaign successful, and I am grateful to those who have given, are considering giving, and those who have not yet thought about giving but will,” said WT President Walter V. Wendler. “Great universities, without exception, are successful in fundraising. The two go hand-in-hand in higher education. The success of this campaign is essential to the future of WT and the thriving of the Panhandle, as laid out in our long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.”

One West’s momentum continues to grow, said Dr. Todd Rasberry, vice president for philanthropy and external relations.

“Our donors feel connected to WT’s vision of being the Panhandle’s University,” Rasberry said. “People understand that means WT has a responsibility to serve the people and communities of the Panhandle region in our teaching, research and service mission, and they are supporting that vision through their donations.”

More than half of the designated gifts received thus far to the campaign are earmarked for the One West focus on people, through expanding scholarship opportunities and named professorships and chairs.

Over the 2021-22 academic year, WT added nine endowed professorships, bringing its total number of professorships and chairs to 70.

An additional 26 percent of the current total have been designated for the One West focus on places, through improving existing buildings and constructing transformational new spaces. And 22.8 percent of the current total have been designated for programs, through enhancing academic offerings and research.

In FY22, WT saw increased giving in multiple manners.

In August, WT received the annual $1 million disbursement from Paul Engler and the Engler Foundation, part of what’s currently the largest gift in WT history.

New major gifts in the last fiscal year include a $5 million gift to rename the Bain-Schaeffer Buffalo Stadium by the families of Barbara and the late Ray Bain and Stanley and the late Geneva Schaeffer; a $5 million gift by Dyke Rogers for the naming of the Terry B. Rogers College of Education and Social Sciences; and $5 million in gifts from Dr. Gordon W. Davis and Caviness Beef Packers to establish two chairs in meat judging and meat science in the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Science.

Other prominent major gifts in the last year include a $2.5 million gift by Stanley Schaeffer and family for the naming of the Geneva Schaeffer Education Building; a $1.5 million gift from High Plains Christian Ministries Foundation to renovate the Joseph A. Hill Memorial Chapel; a $500,000 gift from Merck Animal Health for renovation and expansion of WT’s research feedlot; and a $300,000 gift from Louise C. and Gene F. Rahll to endow the Showcase in a Suitcase program for the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities.

Other gifts received thus far in the One West campaign are planned gifts—legacy gifts that will benefit the University as part of the estates of the donors. Planned gifts announced in the last year include the Gerdsen Family Centennial Ranch, a 1,772-acre property located near the WTAMU Nance Ranch east of Canyon; and a $1.8 million pledge from WT alumni Judy Fugate for WT women’s athletics teams through scholarships and program support.

I Am WT, the University’s annual fund campaign, raises more than $300,000 a year from faculty, staff, alumni and students for athletics, academic areas, programs, memberships and more. This year’s campaign kicked off Aug. 25.

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.



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