WMU News

WMU receives nearly $2.5 million in first-quarter gifts

Oct. 29, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University reported $2.47 million in gifts received between July 1 and Sept. 30, and the WMU Board of Trustees officially endorsed WMU's recently announced $125-million fund-raising campaign at the trustees' Oct. 26 meeting.

"Partnering for Success: The Centennial Campaign for WMU" was unveiled by WMU President Elson S. Floyd and William U. Parfet, chairperson of the campaign, at a public announcement Aug. 30. At that time, Parfet, who is chairman and chief executive officer of MPI Research, announced that WMU had already raised more than $75 million, or 60 percent of the campaign goal.

Acting at it's Oct. 26 meeting, the first held since the campaign's public announcement, the Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution "fully endorsing" the campaign.

According to a report presented to the trustees at the same meeting, the University received $2,474,064 in gifts during the first three months of the 2001-02 fiscal year, which began July 1.

All gifts to the University are received through the WMU Foundation or the Paper Technology Foundation, which supports the internationally known paper programs at WMU. For the first quarter of the 2001-02 fiscal year, the WMU Foundation reported current and deferred cash gifts totaling $1,602,809 and non-cash gifts valued at $752,609, for a total of 2,355,499. The Paper Technology Foundation reported cash and total gifts of $118,565.

Among the larger gifts reported received during the first quarter of 2001-02 was $200,000 given anonymously to support the WMUK Equipment Fund. WMUK-FM is the university's public radio station, which recently celebrated its 50th year of broadcasting and is a member station of National Public Radio.

WMU received a distribution of $117,423 from the estate of Merze Tate to further fund the Merze Tate Endowed Medallion Scholarships. Medallion scholarships, which currently set at $32,000 over four years, are among the larger awards in public higher education and the most prestigious scholarships at WMU. The late Merze Tate of Washington, D.C., who died in 1996, was among WMU's most noted alumni. She earned a bachelor's degree from WMU in 1927 and went on to become the first black American woman admitted to Oxford University.

Also contributing to the Medallion Scholarships was Richard A. Lenon of Glenview, Ill., a graduate of the University and past director of the WMU Foundation. He gave a total of $96,000 to fund three scholarships, one in his name and two in the name of his late wife, Helen F. Lenon.

Peggy Sorensen of Kalamazoo contributed a total of $40,000 to support the men's tennis program. The total includes $38,500 given to the Hap Sorensen Endowment Fund, in honor of her late husband and former men's tennis coach for whom the tennis courts at WMU are named.

Edward J. and Stephanie M. Fletcher of Kalamazoo made a gift of $25,000 to the Donald "J" Seelye Athletic Center. The new facility is under construction at the east end of Waldo Stadium and will incorporate the original facade of the old Oakland Gymnasium on Oakland Drive. Stephanie Fletcher is an alumna of the University and director of the WMU Foundation.

In a related action, the trustees approved a support services agreement with the WMU Foundation, a separately incorporated nonprofit organization. Under the terms of the agreement, the foundation will pay an annual fee, initially set at $200,000, to compensate the university for a variety of support services provided to the foundation.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 616 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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