"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 WSC Foundation to consistently lead our Colorado peers in private support, the recession hit many hard. "Their devotion never wavered; however, giving was affected over the last few years."
"As Western seizes the opportunities and faces the challenges of the future head-on, the soon-to-be university’s devoted family of donors have come roaring back," he added. “They are standing with Western in unprecedented ways."
The 2011-12 fiscal year gift pre-audit totals represented more than dollars raised than in the previous two fiscal years combined.
"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," said Western President Jay Helman.
"Thanks, in part to donors to nearly 250 privately-funded scholarship funds at the WSC Foundation, Western students graduate with among 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 Foundations 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 Political Works, Denver), Terry Brace (’74, President & CEO Brace Leadership Associates LLC, Colorado Springs), Barry Clifford (’69, Underwater Explorer National Geographic, Provincetown, MA), 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, NM), James Shaffer (’73, President Streetscapes Inc., Aurora) and Matt Tredway (’83, Retired Educator, Steamboat Springs).
"We are exceedingly grateful yet not satisfied," said Foundation Board President David McEntire. "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."
About Western State College of Colorado
Founded in 1901, Western is a public, liberal arts college located in Gunnison, Colo. With an enrollment of 2,300 taught by 120 faculty members, Western offers bachelors of arts degrees in 22 areas of study, a bachelor of fine arts, master of arts in education and a master of fine arts in creative writing. Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 1331 on Monday, June 4, 2012 officially changing Western’s name to Western State Colorado University. The name change will take effect on August 1, 2012.