Alumni give back at Homecoming

Tessa Duvall

While students are busy building floats and getting ready for the big game, WKU is preparing to receive what it hopes will be big donations from alumni.

John Paul Blair, assistant vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, said that when alumni visit their favorite spots on campus or see old friends and professors during Homecoming, it can put them in a giving mood.

“The campus visit kind of rekindles their interest in making a gift,” he said.

The gift may not be made at Homecoming or immediately after, but it’s typically made in the fourth quarter of the year, Blair said.

“There’s no doubt that, while it’s hard to measure it, their being here impacts their giving,” he said.

Donald Smith, executive director of the WKU Alumni Association, said more than 20,000 WKU alumni are expected to come back to campus for Homecoming.

Coming to campus may affect their giving, he said. But the fourth quarter of the year, from October through December, includes the holiday season, which can affect giving as well.

According to financial data from WKU, October through December sees the highest number of gifts. Since fiscal year 2007, the university has received more than 8,000 gifts during this time frame.

Blair said announcements of major gifts and new campaigns are also frequently made during Homecoming week.

He said the chapel, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the Sigma Nu houses were all announced during Homecoming weeks in past years.

“It’s a nice time for groups to initiate fundraising efforts,” he said.

Alumni can go to activities hosted by their Greek organizations or departments, or various brunches and activities on campus, Smith said.

There’s also the induction of new members into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni, he said. Less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all alumni are in the hall.

“We feel like it creates excitement with the alumni base,” Smith said.