WKU campaign funds should top $200 million

Katherine Wade

With less than a year remaining in WKU’s $200 million capital campaign, it appears the university will reach its goal.

The New Century of Spirit campaign began in 2005 and ends June 30, 2012. Money raised through the campaign totals $188.4 million, with $2.4 million coming in this past July alone.

“I think that’s a pretty good sign that we still have momentum for the campaign,” said Kathryn Costello, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations.

Costello said the campaign is well on pace.

“You anticipate where you should be at certain times, and we’re ahead of that. Hopefully we’ll go past the goal.”

According to Board of Regents agenda materials from the July 2011 meeting, the campaign is $7 million ahead of schedule.

Costello said Development staff are still getting out and talking with potential donors daily.

“We’re not slowing our efforts at all,” Costello said. “We’re still optimistic that we’re going to go past that goal.”

President Gary Ransdell said although WKU was well on the road to success before Costello joined WKU seven months ago, her leadership will be “key” in finishing the campaign.

“She has brought seasoned leadership and ability to us as we finish the stretch run,” he said.

Ransdell said he is confident that the campaign will pass the goal well before the set end date, attributing its success to two things — the dedication alumni and friends feel for WKU and the seriousness of the university’s drive to national prominence.

“I think our alumni, as well as our faculty and staff, has embraced the notion that we’ve got to control our own destiny,” Ransdell said. “We can’t worry about what the state can do or can’t do. I think people across the university family have come to understand that if they don’t help, we don’t achieve our visions.”

Costello said Ransdell’s leadership should be credited as well.

“He came with a vision 14 years ago, and people believed in the campaign because they believed in him, and he believed in the institution.”

Costello said Development is now going to start planning what to do after the campaign is complete and how to celebrate it, as well as building relationships for the next campaign.

“We plan to celebrate in the fall, after the campaign’s official end,” she said. “We’re trying to engage all parts of the campus, including students.”

Costello said there is a lot of energy about trying to cross the finish line and do well.

“Everyone is pumped up and real excited,” she said.