Campaign planning begins

Beth Wilberding

Western’s first capital campaign was hailed as a success by most in the university community.

Now university officials are preparing to do it all over again.

Tom Hiles, vice president for Institutional Advancement, is expected to meet on Tuesday with deans to discuss the university’s next fundraising campaign.

Officials have discussed dates and numbers, but nothing has been finalized, he said.

Hiles said he hopes to discuss during preliminary meetings areas the university will focus on.

President Gary Ransdell said an institution usually needs three or four years between campaigns to allow projects to be paid for or completed.

“We’re going to explore how we can approach a feasibility study, what our priorities will be over the next five or 10 years,” he said.

Western’s first capital campaign, called “Investing in the Spirit,” raised more than $100 million between 1998 and last year.

The money raised went to areas such as endowed faculty positions, scholarship funds, athletics and campus beautification projects.

The main focus of Tuesday’s meeting will be discussing long-range plans, Ransdell said.

Potter College Dean David Lee said the deans will have a role in the capital campaign.

He said the programs he would like to see funded through a campaign include a cultural enhancement series, more speakers, artists in residence and study abroad opportunities.

Professor endowments will probably be another priority in the next capital campaign, Ransdell said.

The development staff will be key in the campaign, he said.

The deans will be the primary campus personnel in soliciting gifts, he said.

“It will obviously be a priority for me,” said Ransdell, who led fundraising efforts at Clemson University before becoming Western’s president in 1997.

Reach Beth Wilberding at [email protected]