Endowment FAQs

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More than 90 percent of the Wofford student body receives some type of financial support (including loans, scholarships, grants and work study); 56 percent receive need-based financial aid. The majority of Wofford students would be unable to attend Wofford without aid. 

In addition, gifted faculty members are at the heart of an outstanding liberal arts college, and Wofford professors are stellar examples of extraordinary teachers. For over 150 years Wofford has received accolades as an exceptional teaching and learning institution. Wofford expects to remain in the top quartile of undergraduate liberal arts colleges in the nation, but the college must have the resources to attract and retain outstanding faculty by offering competitive financial and academic incentives. Endowed professorships and chairs can help us achieve this goal.

Individuals, young alumni, people who want to honor someone, parents, older alumni making their estate plans, businesses, groups -- anyone or any group can start an endowed scholarship fund at Wofford.

Often those who establish endowed scholarships, professorships and chairs do so in gratitude for their own Wofford experience or that of a loved one. Creating an endowed scholarship is a way to honor past generations, support future generations and ensure the enduring presence of Wofford College.

Once a donor creates a scholarship, professorship or chair by making a gift to Wofford, that gift is invested with the college's endowment. As the original principal appreciates and dividends accrue, the endowed fund builds. When the fund reaches the threshold level, a portion is used to provide support for a Wofford student, professor or department chair. The principal remains in the fund so the endowment continues to increase, which in turn makes an even greater impact on Wofford’s ability to offer scholarships, professorships or chairs.

Yes, these endowed funds are as permanent as Wofford College itself. The college still awards scholarships established in the early 1900s, and classes as early as 1932 have endowed scholarships. Gifts to the endowment will keep giving as long as Wofford College offers transformative education experiences to students.

Certainly. Not only do endowed scholarships allow people to give in perpetuity, they also allow donors to direct their fund to an area important to them. Remember, however, that establishing a named scholarship or professorship means setting a standard that will last for centuries. With that in mind, donors wisely write some flexibility into the scholarship fund agreement to enable maximum long-term impact. Using a phrase such as, "Preference is given to...," both informs the Selection Committee of the type of recipient that should be considered first, then allows some flexibility in the rare event that an exact recipient cannot be found.

The Financial Aid Office reviews scholarships and applicants and allocates endowed scholarships according to the wishes expressed in the scholarship fund agreement signed by the donor. Review by this office ensures the accurate and equitable distribution of all endowed scholarship funds. 

The president of the college and the dean of the college work together to select department chairs. Professors are selected by the president of the college and the dean of the college along with the department chair.

Each year the donor or the person appointed by the donor is informed of the recipient's name. The college encourages acquaintance between donors and recipients and offers opportunities each year for recipients and donors to meet.

Yes. Donors often honor a loved one or link their own name permanently with Wofford through a named endowed scholarship, professorship or chair.

Scholarships, professorships and chairs may be linked with an estate plan, such as a bequest, trust or life insurance policy. Wofford recommends that donors consult their financial or legal adviser when considering funding a scholarship through an estate plan gift.

The college offers two opportunities to establish an endowed scholarship:

  1. A minimum of $50,000, payable over five years, establishes a named permanently endowed scholarship.
  2. A commitment of $25,000, payable over five years, coupled with a documented estate/insurance plan for an additional $100,000 establishes a named, permanently endowed scholarship. This option offers the donor the opportunity to establish the scholarship with a lower initial gift when it is combined with a generous planned gift.

The college offers the following opportunities to establish an endowed faculty position:

  • Endowed Professorships - Gift level: $1,000,000
  • Endowed Chair - Gift level: $1,500,000

The sky is the limit on the upper end; the greater the fund size, the greater the benefit. Recently Wofford has awarded 4.5% of the market value of each endowed fund, and each fund has grown by a similar percentage annually.

Call the Office of Philanthropy and Engagement at Wofford at 864-597-4200 and ask to speak to a gift officer. Our staff will help develop a pledge or gift agreement and then draft a fund agreement.