Campaign Update

George Bridges senior gift

Collective fundraising efforts advance the Now Is the Time Campaign

This spring an array of focused fundraising efforts took place as a part of the Now Is the Time Campaign – from reunion funds to academic programs to unrestricted gifts, Whitman’s supporters contributed to a variety of purposes that are making both an immediate and a long-term difference for Whitman students.

Whitman’s largest group effort – the Annual Fund – had another banner year. Driven by the efforts of hundreds of dedicated volunteers, the Annual Fund makes a vital contribution to the operating budget of the college each year. With the support of thousands of participating alumni, parents and friends, Whitman is able to offer an outstanding education in the liberal arts and sciences and the signature programs that make a Whitman education unique. Annual Fund gifts support scholarships, faculty, the library and more.

Three small group projects, which took place this spring and are detailed below, ideally demonstrate the ability of a large number of individual gifts to collectively make a difference for important efforts in the Whitman community.

Senior Fund sets records in support of scholarship 

Each year, a group of graduating Whitman seniors leads classmates in an effort to make a legacy gift to Whitman. This year, Senior Fund Chair Chris Andrews ’13 led the team to tremendous success. The Class of 2013’s impressive achievements include earning a record 69 percent participation rate and collecting more than $15,000 in student donations to build the Senior Fund Scholarship Endowment. With more than half of Whitman’s living alumni graduating after 1988, the college’s future depends more and more on the leadership of younger donors. Our kudos to the Class of 2013 for their early commitment to philanthropy and paying it forward to future generations – they have set the bar for future senior classes.

The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG boosts financial strength

On May 15, the Now Is the Time Campaign received a boost through the Seattle Foundation’s annual GiveBIG event. Whitman participated for the first time this year in this regional online effort that is coordinated and marketed by the foundation. Whitman received 194 gifts from alumni, parents, staff, faculty and friends totaling more than $46,000. Contributions to GiveBIG ranged from $5 to $5,000 and were transmitted electronically from all around the world. Each year after the event, the Seattle Foundation provides a “stretch” gift – a percentage match of gifts to each participating non-profit provided by its leadership group. This year, the stretch added more than $4,000 to gifts raised, bringing the grand total to more than $50,000. Whitman extends a BIG thank you to all who participated.

Varsity athletics challenge – exceeded!

In 2012-13, more than 600 parents, alumni and friends of Whitman contributed financially to the W Club and Whitman College. With this enthusiastic team of backers, Whitman varsity athletics had its most successful season ever – finishing second in points per team in the highly competitive Northwest Conference. The W Club Board is dedicated to ensuring that Whitman athletics will continue to receive a level of support that helps the program to thrive. Although several donors have established or supported endowed athletics funds over the years, W Club support is primarily year-to-year. This spring, two leadership donors – George Osborne ’66 and John Stanton ’77 – issued a challenge to key backers of athletics: They would each add $100,000 to the Varsity Athletics Endowment to match gifts to any of our athletics endowments this spring. W Club members responded enthusiastically, giving more than $198,000. Thanks to these gifts and the matching funds, endowments for athletics grew by nearly $400,000, expanding the foundation on which our student-athletes can depend each year and continuing to build our program’s bright future.

The Now Is the Time Campaign presents the opportunity for a remarkable partnership between faculty, staff and students and the alumni and supporters who make the education we provide possible. Initiatives made possible by campaign gifts – new professorships, the Global Studies program, expanded internships and enhanced scholarship support, to name just a few – are having a tremendous impact. We are grateful for your continued partnership in our aspirations for the future of the college.

OVERALL GOAL: $150 MILLION

Academic Strength   Goal: $75 Million

These funds will add faculty to broaden and deepen the curriculum, cultivate innovation in teaching and learning and increase the extraordinary learning experiences that prepare students to lead in a globally connected world.

  $62.3 million*  
Access and Affordability   Goal: $50 Million

These funds will endow need-based scholarships and bolster merit and talent awards, making a Whitman education more accessible for current and future students.

  $37 million*  
Financial Strength   Goal: $25 Million

These funds will increase the unrestricted endowment and support from the Annual Fund – significant sources of fiscal stability and flexibility that help ensure the tradition of excellence at Whitman continues for future generations.

  $19.7 million*  

For more information or to give online go to campaign.whitman.edu.

*An additional $12.5 million in commitments have yet to be designated.