March 29, 2021
In the World

Wittenberg Sets One-Day Record For Giving, Launches Fundraising Campaign

Donations, Alumni Support Come Amid Brightening Financial Outlook

Wittenberg University, buoyed by a record-setting Commit to Witt Day of Giving, with donations of more than $560,000, has officially launched the public portion of its largest fundraising campaign ever.

“We are humbled and gratified – but not surprised – by this outpouring of support for Wittenberg,” said President Michael L. Frandsen. “Much work remains to be done, and we need support from all corners of our Tiger Nation. But it’s clear that even as we continue to deal with this pandemic health crisis, Wittenberg is in a stronger position – financially and academically – than has been the case in some time.”

Frandsen said the $100-million comprehensive “Having Light: The Campaign for Wittenberg University” is a critical element “to ensuring that the Wittenberg torch, which has shone brightly since 1845, remains lit for generations to come.”

To date, $76 million has already been raised toward that $100-million goal. And Frandsen cited other critical areas of progress:

  • The March 11 Commit To Witt Day, marking the end of the University’s celebration of its 175th anniversary, set a one-day fundraising record, with average gift sizes increasing and donations from alumni in all 50 states.
  • Earlier in March, the University paid off $23.79 million in loans taken out in 2018 to renovate the Health, Wellness, and Athletics (HWA) Complex. Frandsen said the debt was retired through a combination of paid pledges to the HWA project, repositioning previous gifts, and raising new money. “While retiring this large amount of debt and saving millions of dollars in interest represents a huge, positive step forward, we must further improve our operating results and restructure and reduce our long-term liabilities,” Frandsen said. “That work continues.”
  • Student enrollment, even amid the challenges of the pandemic, also is improving with applications and admitted students up from past years. “We believe the fall 2021 cohort will increase by 10% to 15% – on top of a 10% gain for 2020 over 2019,” Frandsen said.

Frandsen added that Wittenberg is moving forward with plans for an in-person Commencement on May 15.

“We’re proud of our measured approach to the pandemic – which continues. We have had all our students on campus for in-person instruction throughout this academic year. And I believe this showed Wittenberg at our best – taking on an unprecedented challenge, practicing these new concepts of social distancing and wearing masks, and overcoming our shared situation, together. As we enter our 177th year, we have met many goals and accomplished much. We know that even more remains to be done, and with the help of our dedicated faculty and staff, committed students, and generous alumni and other donors, we’re going to get that work done.”
Wittenberg University President Michael L. Frandsen
Having Light
Inspired by our motto, “Having light we pass it on to others,” the Campaign for Wittenberg University is the most ambitious effort of its kind in our 175 year history.
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Karen Gerboth
Karen Gerboth
Vice President of Marketing & Communications

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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