Alumni help fundraising campaign reach $216.6 million

“My schooling meant so much to me. I have been able to do things in life that never would have been available to me if I didn’t have my UW degree.” —Phyllis Johnson, ’44, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

“When I was at the UW, I went to school on scholarships. It is time for me to pay back and add to the generosity I received as a student.” —Marjorie Levar, ’60, Seattle.

“I give to the UW because that’s where I got my start. As a teacher and coach, I know how important education can be. I’m happy to be able to increase my gift.” —George Contreras, ’69, Camarillo, Calif.

UW alumni have responded to the Campaign for Washington not only with gifts but also with such comments. Students and other University representatives have been telephoning alumni nationwide to ask for campaign pledges payable over up to five years and many alumni are making generous gifts. Donors making five-year pledges have, on average, increased their annual giving level by nearly 400 percent.

Asking alumni to increase their level of giving, and to make pledges lasting several years, is important to the success of the campaign, says Marilyn Dunn, president of the University of Washington Foundation. “The results have been wonderful. We know that many alumni feel great affection for the University. It is enormously encouraging that people who benefited from the UW in the past are willing to invest in its future.”

The number of alumni who give also has increased during the campaign, says Dunn. In 1987-88, the first year of the fund-raising drive, 19,650 alumni made gifts. During 1989-90, the year that the campaign was announced publicly, that number grew to 24,473.

“Eventually, we hope the percentage of UW alumni who give—currently 14.5 percent—will match similar public institutions, where the figure is 18-22 percent,” says Dunn. “We want people to know how much their gifts can accomplish. Every gift is important.”

The campaign is scheduled to conclude in June 1992. With $216.6 million in gifts and pledges as of March 31, it was 87 percent of the way to its $250-million goal.