Wichita State News
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(from left) Mike Lamb, Elizabeth King, Cindy Schwan, Barry Schwan and John Bardo.

WSU Foundation's Promise for the Future campaign is a success

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wichita State University can change lives. It will continue to do so for generations, in part because of the generous friends who know the importance and power of legacy gifts.

On July 18, the WSU Foundation celebrated the people who helped make the Promise for the Future campaign a success. They made 100 long-term commitments through wills, trusts, retirement plans and other methods during the two-year campaign, which began July 1, 2010, and ended June 30, 2012.

“These 100 new legacy gifts will benefit nearly every corner of the university,” said Michael Lamb, WSU Foundation vice president for planned and annual giving. “Combined with those who made commitments in previous years, we are now aware of 545 legacy gifts.”

The Promise for the Future campaign cabinet was co-chaired by Cindy ’77, ’85 and Barry Schwan. Barry Schwan spoke at the celebration, commending the engagement of the cabinet members and the work of the WSU Foundation’s planned giving staff in addition to all staff members who helped to meet the campaign’s goal.

“These are going to be the gifts that keep on giving,” said Schwan. “It is something that will last a long time, and it will be a great legacy.”

Feeling the impact

The impact of past legacy gifts is being realized today through students such as Michael Lear, a secondary mathematics education major. Lear is the recipient of the Ralph and Doris Klose Scholarship. The $7.5 million estate gift provides annual assistance to nearly 20 students who are majoring in math or science education.

When Lear was a young child, his grandfather encouraged him to get the best education possible. Those words followed Lear to college.

“My grandfather had the trust and confidence in me,” said Lear. “He knew that I could do it, and it gave me that drive.

“I did my work and someone out there saw that work and said, ‘You know what, this kid has drive, so let’s help him out.’”

Lear continues to work hard to be the best student and is giving back as a tutor.

“I had an obligation to assure that this trust and confidence was not misplaced,” said Lear.

A challenging goal

Inspired by Lear’s story, Elizabeth King, president and CEO of the WSU Foundation, applauded him for his initiative and for his understanding of the importance of the type of gift he received. She also thanked the audience for their belief in this campaign and their understanding about gifts of the future.

“It was a strong goal, a challenging goal, and that’s 100 gifts that are going to touch the future Michaels of this Shocker world,” said King.

John Bardo
John Bardo
WSU President John Bardo praised the leadership of the staff, the Schwans and the volunteers, noting that the campaign’s success wasn’t an easy task, but that everyone took the time to make it happen, including the donors who are changing lives.

“By your gifts, by your support, by your continuing work with this foundation and this university, you’re touching the future,” said Bardo. “None of us know in the end who will be here because of your gift, what change they will make in society that makes things better for everybody, how they will impact the quality of the future of the people of this region. You’re betting on the future…and the fact that you did that says a lot about you and your trust in this institution.

“It is because of people like you that this place really does have a future and that more students like Michael will be here and will be able to talk about changing lives. That’s what we really do here.”

Promise for the Future Campaign Facts

The Promise for the Future campaign ran from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2012. One hundred legacy gifts were documented, meeting the campaign’s goal. 

  • The most used vehicle to create a legacy gift was retirement plans, followed by wills and trusts.
  • 66 percent of the gifts were designated for academic programs; 16 percent for athletics; 8 percent for KMUW 89.1; and 10 percent for other. 
  • The donor age range was 24 to 81 years old with the average being 57.
  • The average number of outright gifts per campaign donor received by the WSU Foundation prior to the legacy gift being documented was 49.
  • The average number of contacts with the campaign donor prior to the gift being documented was 19.6. These include in-person visits, telephone calls, emails and other.
  • Total number of legacy gifts documented with the WSU Foundation (campaign and prior) is 545.
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Created on Wednesday, July 25, 2012; Last modified on Friday, July 27, 2012