WT launches $125 million fundraising campaign


By Chip Chandler

West Texas A&M University made history Sept. 23 with the official public unveiling of its new $125 million comprehensive fundraising campaign.

The One West campaign is designed to fuel the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

“WT’s values are reflective of, and responsive to, the people we serve. And WT makes this region better every day,” WT President Walter V. Wendler said. “The One West comprehensive campaign will ensure WT’s future not only for this area we call home, but also for the world as we grow our influence as a regional research university.”

At a Sept. 23 launch party in Buffalo Stadium on WT’s campus in Canyon, campaign leaders announced the overall goal and priorities of the campaign, which will run through 2025.

And, crucially, the leaders announced that the University already has raised $80 million — 64 percent of the total goal.

“The One West campaign represents the largest and most ambitious fundraising effort across the Texas Panhandle,” said Terry Rogers, One West Campaign Leadership Committee co-chair with husband Dyke.

The leadership team also includes Jim J. Brewer and Leah McLain, Cheryl and Alex Fairly, and Sherry and David Schaeffer.

The campaign dwarfs WT’s landmark 2012 fundraising campaign, which raised $53 million, 76 percent more than its announced goal of $30 million.

The scope of the One West campaign is different, too.

“The One West campaign is comprehensive, which means that a gift to anything at WT counts in the campaign,” Dyke Rogers said.

The campaign’s three priorities: people, through scholarships and professorships; programs, enhancing academic offerings and research; and places, improving existing buildings and constructing new spaces.

“One West is a transformational campaign for WT and the Panhandle Region. It will have an enormous impact for the next half century and beyond,” said Dr. Todd Rasberry, vice president for philanthropy and external relations. “Every aspect of the University — from our Colleges and Graduate School to student services to athletics to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum — will benefit from the generosity of our donors during this momentous campaign.”

Among the giving opportunities: Endowed scholarships for students; named professorships and chairs for faculty members; endowed programs and research funds; and naming rights for three of the University’s Colleges and its Graduate School, as well as various campus buildings, classrooms and other spaces.

The WTAMU Foundation will work with donors to set up multi-year commitments, gifts from donor-advised funds, gifts of asset-generating property, or estate bequests through wills or living trusts, among other options.

“All types of gifts are welcome and appreciated as WT secures its position as the Panhandle’s only research university,” Rasberry said.

The Sept. 23 launch featured interactive displays from each of WT’s six Colleges and the Graduate School, demonstrating to donors the cutting-edge research and innovations currently underway at the University, and how their investments are shaping the educational experiences of students.

A 41-member volunteer steering committee is working alongside the core leadership.

Members include Debbie Farnum, representing the Alumni Association; Chris Lyons, representing Athletics; Joseph Peterson, representing Diversity and Inclusion; Will Miller, representing the Cultural Foundation of the Texas Panhandle; Ross Wilson, representing the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences; J. Pat Richmond, representing the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business; Lanna Hatton, representing the College of Education and Social Sciences; Travis Brown, representing the College of Engineering; Janet Townsend, representing the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities; Randy Sharp, representing the College of Nursing and Health Sciences; and David Prescott, representing Graduate School.

Also on the steering committee are WTAMU Foundation board members Bruce Barrett, Scott Doores, Ed Dowdy, Lilia Escajeda, Paul Evans, John Frantz, Brett Hall, Bob Hatton, J.T. Haynes, David Hudson, Taylor Kelley, Barbara Bain, Stanley Schaeffer, Brent McClure, Andrew Mitchell, Helen Piehl, Richard Sauceda, Mike Wartes, Jo Tyler Engler, Paul Engler, Trevor Caviness, William Ware, Shawn Morrison, Jerry Don Thompson and Paul Matney. At-large members are Mike Bain, Lizzie Ware Williams, Kolton Wilder, Alan Rhodes and Jeff Nunn.

The committee also includes University representatives from across WT. 

About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.

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