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Gifts to WMU reach $12.7 million in 2008-09

Sept. 24, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University received more than $12.7 million in gifts and recorded commitments for three large future gifts during the 2008-09 fiscal year that ended June 30.

According to a report at the Sept. 17 meeting of WMU Board of Trustees, the University received $12,716,121 in gifts during 2008-09. The total is $3.2 million less than the amount received in 2007-08, and $220,000 more than received in 2006-07.

Cash gifts accounted for more than $12 million of the $12.7 million received in 2008-09, which is the second largest annual total in cash gifts of the past four years. Non-cash gifts, such as property and equipment, in 2008-09 were valued at $693,805.

The past year's largest gift, $2.25 million, came from the estate of Kalamazoo philanthropist and WMU alumnus Edwin E. Meader, who died Feb. 1, 2007. His wife, Mary Upjohn Meader, who died March 16, 2008, contributed approximately $500,000 to the year's gift total, and left a bequest, not yet received, valued at $2.75 million.

The Meaders' legacy at WMU includes the W. E. Upjohn Center for the Study of Geographical Change, Waldo Library's Edwin and Mary Meader Rare Books Room and the W.H. Upjohn Rotunda, the entrance to Waldo Library, named for Mary Meader's father.

Other large gifts received during 2008-09 include a $610,000 anonymous gift to the College of Fine Arts, $508,000 from the Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund and $640,000 for the WMU Emeriti Endowed Medallion Scholarship from the estate of Helen G. Sellers of Kalamazoo. Sellers, who taught English at WMU from 1947 until her retirement in 1974, died at age 95 in 2007.

Also during 2008-09, two anonymous deferred bequests were confirmed. The combined value of those gifts is $16 million. The total of all outstanding future gifts to the University--deferred gifts and pledges--was set at more than $25 million.

All gifts to the University are made through the WMU Foundation, incorporated in 1976 to promote and provide private support to Western Michigan University.

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Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

WMU News
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