Dear Alumni & Friends,
When we pass our light on to others, Wittenberg shines.
The above sentiment has been true since 1845, and it continues to guide and inspire – a fact that was especially evident this past year in your uncompromising commitment to our mission and purpose. Our 2020-21 fiscal year set records for what it means to pass on one’s light through philanthropy. Together, we connected with more alumni than ever, closed a second consecutive fiscal year with record-setting fundraising totals, and successfully launched the largest comprehensive campaign in our 176-year history. Thank you!
While 2020-21 will forever be remembered for the challenges presented by the pandemic, it also demonstrated the true meaning of Tiger Up. During this fiscal year, the unwavering desire of our community to help others navigate difficult times distinguished us, proving that “Having light we pass it on to others” is more than our motto; it’s a Tiger phenomenon that was made abundantly clear as we raised an unbelievable $12,850,067 – $5.4 million more than last fiscal year.
To add to this tremendous success, March 11, 2021 marked the official launch of our $100-million Having Light: The Campaign for Wittenberg University, our first comprehensive fundraising effort in more than two decades. With more than $84 million raised to date, we are well on our way to meeting and surpassing our $100 million goal by 2023. Your investment in our future comes at a time when it is needed most, allowing us to meet this moment when circumstances demand that we address the most pressing needs of the University on our way to an even brighter future. Staying true to our mission and values, this campaign is: for the people, for the place, and for the present.
Time and again this last fiscal year, our alumni and friends stepped up as never before, creating opportunities for our students and campus community. The generosity propelled by the launch of the Having Light Campaign not only helped generate record giving to Wittenberg University, but also demonstrated ongoing investments from our loyal donors as we saw a significant increase in our donor retention numbers. Additionally, our alumni participation stayed strong, landing again at 18%. Jumping 5.5 percentage points in our alumni participation a year ago was a feat many institutions never accomplish; holding onto an increase proves to be even more elusive – but not for Wittenberg Tigers and the 415 new donors that joined our forward movement this year. With all this support, more endowed scholarships and funds were created, including the completion of the notable $1.5M Richard P. Veler Endowed Chair in English. Thank you so much for passing your light.
Passing our light on to others also transformed into a call to action during our annual Commit to Witt on March 11. Together, we raised $567,858 in a single day, cementing a piece of Wittenberg history and proving what we know to be true once again: When we pass our light on to others, Wittenberg shines.
We remain tremendously grateful to you and the many partners who worked with us on bold initiatives throughout this past year. Your generosity and engagement with the University make possible all that we are able to achieve. The numbers are exciting, but there’s so much more to our Wittenberg story. Having light, Wittenberg will continue to shine for generations as we challenge students to become responsible global citizens, to discover their callings, and to lead personal, professional, and civic lives of creativity, service, compassion, and integrity.
With Tiger pride,
Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Engagement