Washburn University exceeds $125 million fundraising goal

Washburn University has reached and exceeded its fundraising goal of $125 million as part of the Topeka college’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, university officials announced Saturday.

“It’s huge,” Jerry Farley, Washburn’s president, said before the campaign celebration at the downtown Ramada Hotel and Convention Center. “It really is.”

Farley said reaching and exceeding the “150 Forward” goal for the capital campaign that began in October of 2013 is significant for several reasons.

“One is the financial support that we provide into the future, forever,” he said. “Secondly, that people simply recognize Washburn is important and that they’re willing to work and to share to make Washburn an even better place.”

“This has been a true partnership between the foundation and the university,” added Cynthia Heath, chair of the university foundation’s board of directors and a 1971 Washburn history graduate. “The mission of the foundation is to support the university. All of us who are on the board and the trustees really believe that Washburn is a special place that gave us the education we needed to be successful. That’s why we continue to support the university.”

JuliAnn Mazachek continues to serve as president and CEO of the Washburn University Foundation although she was recently appointed vice president of academic affairs. She said the original “150 Forward” campaign goal was $100 million and $25 million in planned gifts for student scholarships, faculty and programs, physical buildings and annual giving. She said the campaign raised another estimated $20 million.

“The thing that probably spoke the most to us during the campaign,” Mazachek said, “was how much our alumni are appreciative and how much they want to make sure we’re able to carry forward our teaching excellence and what a difference that made in their education. That really is the area of the campaign where we had the most gifts and support in our $100 million campaign.”

Mazachek said the campaign for construction of a new $40 million law school building on the southeast side of campus continues with a goal of $20 million in private donations. The other $20 million will come from university reserve funds and short-term bonds. She said fundraising for that project is expected to run through 2018, with $6 million raised to date.

“Which is actually the most the School of Law has raised for a building project ever,” Mazachek said. “We’re very fortunate that the alumni have stepped forward and given so much so far.”

Once the $20 million goal is reached, Mazachek said, ground will be broken for the law school. She said the campaign for the law school building isn’t behind schedule but is progressing as expected.

“We are not discouraged,” she said. “We knew this was a big project and it was bigger than anything we’ve ever done at Washburn University. We are in the…

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