Springfield, Ohio - The largest campaign in Wittenberg University history has exceeded its goal by a wide margin - thanks to the 49 percent of living alumni and more than 6,000 others who contributed $75,518,027 to the massive effort.
The results have been huge, too, according to Charles Dominick, vice president for university advancement. The campaign has already provided Wittenberg with Hollenbeck Hall, a state-of-the-art classroom building and the addition of a laboratory wing to the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center. These gifts have also allowed significant growth of the university endowment, generating more student scholarships and endowed faculty positions, he added.
"We're very proud of our hard work and the support we have received," Dominick said. "One of the best ways we can say thank you is to invite interested donors and friends to campus to see the progress we've made and speak to the students who benefit each day from the generosity of others. Wittenberg has many more needs to fill, and we are going to continue this momentum into the future."
Aptly named, the Defining Moments Campaign began in October 1996 to define the future of quality programs that will allow future generations of students to make their mark on the world. Wittenberg is extremely grateful to National Campaign Chairman Robert E. Ness a 1963 graduate of Wittenberg and president of ODW Logistics Inc. and Dist-Trans Company headquartered in Columbus, for his fine leadership of this monumental effort. The success of this campaign enables Wittenberg to position itself for the future and to continue to attract a diverse, high-quality student population.
"I believe that what Bob Ness and Wittenberg collectively have achieved is just the beginning for a new era of resource development at the university," said Ingrid Stafford, a 1975 graduate of Wittenberg and chair of the university's board of directors. Stafford, who is associate vice president for finance and controller at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill, added, "The needs are large and the challenges still before us, but we wish to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone for helping to take us over the top of our goal."
The Springfield component to the campaign, under the dedicated leadership of Larry Baker '71, president of Baker Financial Planning in Springfield, also surpassed its goal more than a year prior to the end of the fund-raising drive. The total raised in Springfield was $20,540,080.
Other regional totals in Ohio include Dayton $2,053,035; Columbus $3,583,250; Cleveland $1,812,429; Toledo $516,022. Sizeable amounts were also raised in cities where Wittenberg has active alumni associations including Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC.
A crowd of nearly 500 Wittenberg University supporters erupted in thunderous applause when the grand total was announced Jan. 24 during a gala campaign celebration called "Our Time to Shine," a reference to the university motto "Having Light We Pass it On to Others." The five-year Defining Moments Campaign stretched beyond the ambitious $70 million goal, achieving unprecedented levels of philanthropic support - being more than three times larger than that of Wittenberg's largest previous campaign.
Masters of Ceremonies for the gala included The Hon. Janet E. Jackson, Columbus City attorney and a 1975 graduate of Wittenberg, and television actor Peter Kluge, Wittenberg class of 1984, award-winning playwright, actor and 2001 Wittenberg graduate Daniel Stroeh. The"Our Time to Shine" celebration offered a glimpse of the talent and creativity displayed by Wittenberg University students and alumni while thanking those who made the campaign a huge success.
"Our Time to Shine" featured an interesting array of performances by the Wittenberg Choir, Clarinet Trio, Dance Ensemble, Handbell Choir, Gala Brass Ensemble and WittMen Crew, the student a cappella harmony group. Also featured was Stroeh, who performed compelling excerpts and reflections from his play "it is no desert" which won the national student playwriting award at the Kennedy Center during the 2001 American College Theatre Festival.
Wittenberg University has more than 24,000 alumni representing all 50 states and 60 foreign countries. The private, liberal arts and sciences college enjoys the enthusiastic support of alumni, their parents and friends. A Phi Beta Kappa school with a broad choice of majors on a picturesque campus, Wittenberg offers a friendly community and a distinguished teaching tradition close to both Columbus and Dayton, Ohio.
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