WMU News

WMU receives near-record cash gifts in 1996-97 fiscal year

July 25, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- Gifts to Western Michigan University edged past the $10 million mark to finish the 1996-97 fiscal year ending June 30 at $10,464,793, the WMU Board of Trustees learned at its July 25 meeting.

Current cash gifts of $8,428,056 and deferred cash gifts of $787,565 amounted to $9,215,621, making last year the second best on record for cash gifts to the University in a single fiscal year.

An additional $1,249,172 in non-cash gifts pushed the total for all gifts received to nearly $10.5 million, down from the previous year's record-breaking $12.4 million in total gifts but still one of the highest tallies for overall giving in University history.

"Giving continues to remain strong," said Keith A. Pretty, vice president for external affairs and general counsel. "The 1996-97 total shows once again that people believe in this University and its leadership and want to invest in its future.

"I'm gratified that the public has given more than $86 million in gifts to the University during the past 10 years," he continued. "This level of sustained support makes a critical difference in our ability to maintain superior programs, facilities and services and to achieve even higher levels of excellence."

Pretty noted that this year's gifts have touched the University across the board, enriching the sciences, the arts, scholarships, athletics and many other areas.

"Equally important," he said, "the gifts have contributed dramatically to WMU enhancing its academic reputation and growing in national stature."

Pretty's report to the board also included June gift figures. Current and deferred cash gifts for the final month of the fiscal year totaled $325,096 and included two major gifts.

The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation of Midland made a $50,000 contribution to the Science Campaign Equipment Fund. The fund supports the acquisition of scientific and research equipment in conjunction with the University's ongoing $45.3 million upgrade of its science facilities.

The upgrade is one of WMU's most important building projects of the last decade and will result in the University having some of the finest facilities for science education and research in the Midwest. The two-phase project will be completed in 1999.

Also noted in the June gifts was a $20,000 contribution from the Pharmacia & Upjohn Foundation of Kalamazoo to the Annual Fund for Western.

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