Regents hear fundraising campaign update from Costello

Regents hear fundraising campaign update from Costello

Caitlin Carter

Though WKU hasn’t finished its current capital campaign, President Gary Ransdell and Kathryn Costello, the newly-named vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, already have their eyes set on the next one.

Costello was hired in October during WKU’s current capital campaign, “A New Century of Spirit.”

The $200 million campaign, which is set to end in 2012, is about $25 million in donations away from being finished, according to agenda materials from last week’s Board of Regents meeting.

In her presentation at the meeting, Costello said WKU’s goal at the end of 2010 was to raise $175 million. The university has reached $174.3 million at this point.

Since July 2010, WKU has received $8.3 million in gifts, putting the university on the right track to reach its goal in about 18 months, Costello said.

“That’s a pretty steady pace at this stage in the campaign,” Costello said.

Costello said she feels the positive energy from this campaign and believes it will translate well to the next.

“We’re very close to the end of this,” she said. “And after seeing a master plan for years to come, I know we’ll be planning for another one.”

WKU hopes to raise more money for endowed professorships during the final stretch of the campaign, Costello said.

She said the current endowment stands at $108 million.

“It would be wonderful, and is not at all unlikely, that before the next campaign is finished we move up to the $300 million range in endowments,” Costello said.

Ransdell said these numbers are exciting and encouraging to see.

“Not many institutions have recovered from the recession that the world is still dealing with,” Ransdell said.

Ransdell, who has known Costello since the two worked together at Southern Methodist University, said her “energy, grace and intelligence” will guide WKU through the rest of the campaign.

“We’ll complete this campaign by June 30, 2012 and knock the socks off this goal,” Ransdell said. “In a matter of three or four years, we’ll catch our breath and begin planning for the next one, which will be significantly larger. That’s just the world in which we live, and Kathryn will set the stage for us very well.”