Alumni and friends set new record for donations

To date, donors have committed $138.5 million


Arianna Wage / Observer

First year student Sonja Cuollo passes through one of the “bubble stations.”

Brian Sherman, Staff Reporter

Case Western Reserve University has long been proud of its alumni, as their successes in the real world reflect upon their times as students of the university. Recently, however, CWRU has had another reason to be appreciative of its alumni. Thanks to the support of over 17,000 donors, all of whom are CWRU alumni and friends, the CWRU annual fund has surpassed the $10 million mark for the first time in its history.

This new record was not alone. In addition to the new record of the annual fund, CWRU has also, for the fifth time in six years, broken the record for the total amount collected by the university, with over $145 million during the 2013 fiscal year, marking a $7.5 million increase over last year.

This brings the total amount raised by Forward Thinking, CWRU’s capital campaign, to $861.4 million.

“I’m impressed and extremely grateful that, despite these economic times, our alumni can still donate this large amount,” said Lara Kalafatis, vice president for university relations.

Gifts given by donors to the university can fall into two categories, either the annual fund or endowment. The annual fund contributes to aspects of the university like the various on-campus libraries, individual schools and athletics. An endowment is more long term, as it generates interest income for the university. This interest is used for long term funding, such as professorships or student aid. To date, donors have committed $138.5 million this campaign in support of students.

“It’s like planting a seed for a tree for the future,” said Kalafatis.

In addition to funding professorships, the university has used the money generated to fund other initiatives, such as the Tinkham Veale University Center, which was started by a $20 million donation by Tinkham Veale, an alumnus of the class of 1937 and frequent donor to the university. Located next to Thwing Center and Kelvin Smith Library, it is slated to open next year thanks to contributions from donors.

Other initiatives by the university include the James Wyant Field House and Wellness Center, Toby’s Plaza in Uptown, ThinkBox and an $8 million contribution by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation to the buildings that bear their names.

Alumni contributions form a significant part of the campaign, and recent news of gifts show that this trend is not going to end anytime soon. Recently, Joseph and Nancy Keithley pledged $15 million to CWRU and the Cleveland Museum of Art to support joint programs in art history. In addition, Chuck and Char Fowler have pledged a $6 million commitment to support fellowships for highly qualified MBA students passionate about sustainable value.

To thank the generosity of its contributors, CWRU has invited its donors to the Blue Block 2.0 Party for a special “You’re In” celebration. Donors will be able to share their stories of why they support CWRU.