WKU Foundation celebrates 25 years of philanthropic initiatives

In the last quarter century, the WKU Foundation has played a pivotal role in the development of Western Kentucky University. On Monday, the organization celebrated its 25th anniversary on the Hill.

"I cannot imagine how different our university would be in the absence of the WKU Foundation and the philanthropy that it produces," said WKU Foundation Interim President John Paul Blair.

Since 1993, the Western Kentucky University Foundation has served as the official repository for gifts to the school. Now, 25 years since its chartering, the foundation is celebrating the success it’s had in supporting the development of Hilltopper students, something Blair said would not have been possible with the support from Western’s massive alumni base.

"$194 million in gifts have been made to the WKU Foundation from more than 420,000 alumni and friends of the university," he said. "From those gifts, the WKU Foundation has been able to provide more than $133 million in current support of WKU students, faculty, and staff."

In addition to providing such a large amount of financial aid to students, the foundation has played a pivotal role in the construction, beautification, and renovation projects of several structures on campus.

  • Adams-Whitaker Student Publications Center
  • Augenstein Alumni Center
  • Chandler Memorial Chapel
  • Columbarium at Chandler Memorial Chapel
  • Confucius Institute
  • Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
  • Greek Housing Support (seven new housing projects)
  • Guthrie Fountain
  • Guthrie Courtyard and Bell Tower
  • Hattie L. Preston Intramural-Sports Complex
  • Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium
  • Paul Orberson Baseball Clubhouse
  • Raymond B. Preston Health and Activities Center
  • Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex
  • Zuheir Sofia-Dero Downing Building

"Fourteen buildings both new and renovated have been supported by the work of the WKU Foundation," said Blair. "And it’s truly helped to transform the university’s physical campus."

After being involved with the foundation for 21 years, Blair added that he’s seen firsthand how this private funding has helped positively change and impact the university, and he said he’d like to see that trend of growth and development continue for the next 25 years, too.

"The foundation along with other foundations that support WKU are going to be integral partners as we continue to climb to newer heights and move forward."

For more information about the WKU Foundation’s 25th anniversary and other details about their mission, visit the organization’s website or stop into their office inside the third floor of the Augenstein Alumni Center on WKU’s campus.