This past year, Case Western Reserve University saw an abundance of generosity from its alumni and friends as donors committed a total of $115.5 million to enhance the university’s interests. The second highest value of donations in CWRU history, these contributions will help to improve several important aspects of the university, the most notable of which will create several new facilities for student life.
University donations have been on the rise since the arrival of CWRU president Barbara Snyder in 2007. Amy Raufman, Director of Development Communications within University Marketing, attributed the recent increase in donations to Snyder’s leadership and initiative. “She’s built really strong relationships that lay the ground for giving increases,” said Raufman.
Additionally, a streamlined and progressive strategic vision for the university has “given staff and volunteers a framework for how university will move forward,” explained Raufman. This vision emphasizes a nurturing environment, where every person will be able to discover their potential and broaden their understanding of the world. “Donors are seeing that CWRU has great potential and a bright future,” stated USG vice president of Student Life Divya Aggarwal. “These sentiments and the subsequent investments to the university are helping to enrich, support, and improve our campus life.”
While several contributions will go to enhancing the scholastic interests of the university, the most heavily anticipated of these donations will affect the non-academic sector of CWRU, and will create several new facilities for student life, including a performance center, an athletic facility and, most notably, a student center.
The first of these major announcements came in March, with the announcement of the partnership between CWRU and Temple-Tifereth Israel to create a dynamic new home for the university’s performing arts. This was made possible through the generosity of Milton and Tamar Maltz, who donated $12 million to transform the building into a marvelous venue for programs and performances of CWRU students in the music, dance and theater departments.
A $4 million commitment from CWRU Trustee James C. Wyant will produce the Wyant Field House, a complete, accessible athletic center. Located on the north side of the Village field, this new facility will provide a state-of-the-art fitness home for student athletes and NRV residents. The 24,000 square foot facility will include areas for cardiovascular and weigh training, as well as a lounge and multipurpose space. Construction on the Wyant Field House is anticipated to begin within the next two years.
Finally, a donation of $20 million from Tinkham Veale and the Veale Foundation will create the Tinkham Veale University Center. This is not the first display of generosity from Veale, who has given to the university annual fund each year since his graduation from the Case Institute of Technology in 1937. His name can also be found on the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center and the Veale Natatorium.
Little more than a far-off dream for students prior to Veale’s donation, the possibilities of the new University Center are limitless. A committee of students and administrators are presently looking into the preliminary steps of the center’s realization, such as selecting an architect. Students will continue to play a pivotal role in the shape the center will assume.
Raufman expressed her admiration for not only the commitment and generosity of donors, but also their resilience in the face of a challenging economy. “Our university is really bucking the trend in terms of fundraising results,” she said. “I think it’s a testament to our leadership, our focus as an institution, and the dedication of our alumni who are willing to enter these collaborative partnerships and agreements to advance everyone’s interests.”