WMU News

Frostic gift helps WMU shatter previous record total

March 25, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- With receipts still to be counted through June 30, Western Michigan University has already received more than $21.7 million in gifts during the 2001-02 fiscal year, surpassing the previous one-year record total by more than $3 million.

According to a report presented to the WMU Board of Trustees at its March 22 meeting, gifts received by the WMU Foundation during the 2001-02 fiscal year totaled $21,245,190 through Feb. 28. An additional $534,417 in gifts was received by the Paper Technology Foundation, which supports the internationally known paper programs at WMU. All gifts to the University are received through these two foundations.

In the midst of a $125 million capital campaign, WMU has set new records for total gifts received during each of the past three years. The previous record of $18.4 million was set in 2000-01, surpassing the $17.5 million raised in 1999-2000. The $17.5 million record of three years ago was a 40 percent increase over the then-record total of $12.5 million set in 1995-96.

In December 2001, WMU received the first distribution of $8 million from the estate of alumna Gwen Frostic. That gift, announced in January, is the largest in University history and is expected to total approximately $13 million when the final distribution has been made.

Omitting the distribution from the Frostic estate, gifts to the University from July 2001 through February 2002 are roughly equal to the same eight-month period one year earlier.

Among the larger gifts received since the previous report to the Board of Trustees in December 2001, were several given anonymously. An anonymous gift of $50,000 was given to support the Science Education Endowment in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Russell Brown Honors Quintet Scholarship in the School of Music was supported with an anonymous gift of $25,000, and $32,000 was given to fund a Medallion Scholarship in the College of Fine Arts. An anonymous donor also gave $25,000 to support the Southwest Michigan Children's Trauma Assessment Center in the College of Health and Human Services.

WMUK FM, the University's public radio station, received a gift of $12,500 from Ann V. and Donald R. Parfet of Richland, Mich., to support the station's equipment fund. WMU alumni Phyllis and W. Bruce Thomas of Pittsburgh contributed more than $14,000 to the W. Bruce Thomas Library Endowment. Bruce Thomas was an original member of the WMU Foundation board of directors, serving from 1976 to 1993.

A distribution of $37,500 from the estate of Frances E. Lohr will be used to fund the Frances E. Lohr Speech Pathology and Audiology Endowment in the College of Health and Human Services. Lohr was a WMU professor of speech pathology and audiology, serving on the faculty from 1968 until her retirement in 1992. She died in Kalamazoo Dec. 25, 2001.

Gifts of $10,000 each were made by Target Corp. and Marshall Field's to support Career and Student Employment Services; by Paperworks Inc. for the Paper Technology Foundation; and by Sandra B. Schmidt of Bay Shore, N.Y., to establish the Lillard and Elizabeth Schmidt Memorial Scholarship in intercollegiate athletics.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu


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