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Wofford embarks $105 million capital campaign, largest in history

Friday, October 14, 2005

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College is embarking on the largest capital campaign in its history, with a goal of raising $105 million. The Campaign for Wofford College includes funding for permanent endowed professorships and chairs, and endowed scholarships; Annual Fund and Terrier Club support; facilities needs, such as the restoration of the historic Main Building; and funds for enrichment of academic and campus programs.

Jerome J. Richardson, Wofford College alumnus, member of the board of trustees and founder of the Carolina Panthers, is serving as the chairman of this national campaign. Vice chairs are J. Harold Chandler, a Wofford trustee and chairman/CEO of Benefit Partners of America in Nashville, Tenn., and Hugh C. Lane Jr., a Wofford trustee and president/CEO of The Bank of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C.

Wofford will host an invitation-only black tie gala on Monday, Oct. 17, for the exciting rollout of the campaign.

Growing Wofford’s endowment for scholarship, professorships and chairs enables the college to continue to attract outstanding students and faculty. The goal for scholarships is $30 million, while the goal for faculty chairs and professorships is $25 million. “Endowed scholarships are a major emphasis for The Campaign for Wofford,” says Dr. Benjamin B. Dunlap, president of Wofford. “To begin to compete with the financial aid and scholarship packages with its peer institutions, Wofford needs an additional 200 endowed scholarships.”

Wofford also must have the resources to attract and retain outstanding faculty by offering competitive financial and academic incentives, Dunlap adds. “To be in the top quartile of undergraduate liberal arts colleges in the nation – and Wofford took a giant leap toward that goal with the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings – we need to continue enhancing our faculty, lowering our faculty-student ratio and continuing as a benchmark in our approach to academic matters, including creative writing, studies abroad and learning communities.”

Unrestricted Annual Fund dollars and funding for the Terrier Club, which supports scholarships for student-athletes, also are being emphasized in the campaign, with a goal of $19 million. The Annual Fund provides operating support for college programs and facilities, bridging the gap between tuition and the actual cost of a Wofford education. Also included in this goal is funding through the Friends of the Library, giving the librarian the discretion to acquire special books, exhibitions and collections that enhance the academic and cultural environment for the Wofford community.

Facilities needs, such as the recent completion of Russell C. King Field baseball facilities and the current restoration of the historic Main Building, are a third major component of the campaign. The goal in this area is $15.5 million.

Richardson is encouraging support from Wofford alumni and friends to meet the campaign goals. “Wofford College has been fortunate over the decades to have generous support from alumni, parents and other friends,” he says. “The board of trustees has established important goals for the college to achieve in the coming months and years, including setting specific fund-raising priorities for the $105 million Campaign for Wofford. It is extremely important that these goals are met on a timely basis as the college continues to strengthen its already strong national reputation. Our hope is that all alumni and other friends will be supportive of these efforts, which will help perpetuate an outstanding liberal arts college for decades to come. The National Campaign Steering Committee takes its work very seriously and, in collaboration with the leadership of the college, will be calling on alumni and others for their support.”

Marion Peavey, senior vice president for development, notes that many alumni and friends already have provided generous gifts, totaling more than $57 million to date. “We are confident that even though the goal of $105 million represents Wofford’s largest campaign ever, with continued assistance from many dedicated volunteers, we should make our goal by the time the campaign is scheduled to end in October 2009. Our emphasis in the coming months is on endowment support for scholarships and professorships, while also expanding the Annual Fund.”