WT’s One West Campaign Reaches Historic $125 Million Goal; Fundraising to Continue


One West campaign co-chair Sherry Schaeffer announces that West Texas A&M University has broken its $125 million campaign goal about 18 months early. The campaign will continue through 2025.

CANYON, Texas — In less than 600 days since its public launch, West Texas A&M University’s historic One West campaign has reached its $125 million goal, officials announced May 11.

“Today, just 1½ years into the public phase of the campaign, we are pleased to announce West Texas A&M University has raised $125,283,169,” campaign co-chair Sherry Schaeffer said at a May 11 press conference.

The five-year One West Campaign is the largest and most ambitious fundraising effort ever undertaken across the Texas Panhandle region.

“When we began planning the campaign, there were doubts whether WT could achieve such an ambitious goal,” campaign co-chair David Schaeffer said at the press conference. “We have because of the generosity of donors across the Panhandle region; because of the bold vision cast for the university in the long-range plan; and because of the thoughtful and innovative leadership of President Wendler, the administration, faculty, staff and students of this great University.”

Thus far, 7,298 donors have given 58,621 gifts as part of the One West campaign.

“I want to thank every donor who has made a gift as part of the One West campaign,” said WT President Walter V. Wendler. “You, our donors, deserve the lion’s share of the credit for getting us to the $125 million goal in 1½ years.”

The campaign will continue through 2025, Wendler emphasized.

“We will continue to build on the momentum of the campaign and raise more money,” Wendler said. “To all of those here today or who will hear these words, thank you for considering your campaign gift to WT. There is still time to be part of propelling WT boldly into a bright and exciting future.”

The campaign fuels the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. Its three priorities: people, through scholarships and professorships; programs, enhancing academic offerings and research; and places, improving existing buildings and constructing new spaces.

The campaign officially launched Sept. 23, 2021 in a massive event held on the floor of Bain-Schaeffer Buffalo Stadium. The campaign began with the $80 million gift from Paul Engler, the 17th largest gift that year in America to an institution of higher education.

“President Wendler began the strategic initiatives necessary for a comprehensive fundraising campaign. A long-range plan was developed. Staff and infrastructure were put in place. Lead gifts were raised. And volunteer leadership was recruited,” said Dr. Todd Rasberry, vice president for philanthropy and external relations.

Though the campaign, more than $14 million in new scholarship funding has been raised, and nearly 60 new professorships and chairs have been endowed—an increase of more than 200 percent during the campaign. WT will soon boast nearly 90 professorships, offering each additional funding for research, travel and more.

More than $34 million has been given to name buildings, rooms and more. Those gifts provide funding for construction and renovation, as well as providing new educational, gathering and recreational spaces.

More than $39 million has been raised to support academic programs, enhancing instructional offerings and research.

During the campaign, WT has received more than $107 million in major gifts of $25,000 or more. (See sidebar.)

Other gifts received thus far in the One West campaign are planned gifts—legacy gifts that will benefit the University as part of donors’ estates. Nearly $18 million has been pledged by donors.

I Am WT, the University’s annual fund campaign, has raised more than $18 million since the One West campaign launch. Annual fund gifts are below $25,000.

Among the giving opportunities: Endowed scholarships for students; named professorships and chairs for faculty members; endowed programs and research funds; and naming rights for two of the University’s Colleges and its Graduate School, as well as various campus buildings, classrooms and other spaces.

The WTAMU Foundation will work with donors to set up multi-year commitments, gifts from donor-advised funds or appreciated assets, gifts of property, or estate bequests through wills or living trusts, among other options.