WILMINGTON — Wilmington College’s historical Leave Your Mark campaign — the largest in the institution’s history — concluded Dec. 31 by surpassing its $21.2 million goal.
While the final numbers may change slightly as outlying gifts are factored in, the college raised a record $21.3 million from some 3,500 donors during the campaign’s duration.
The seven-year comprehensive campaign included funding for such major capital projects as the Center for the Sciences and Agriculture and the Center for Sport Sciences. In addition to new facilities and the renovation of Bailey Hall into an academic building, the fundraising endeavor also provided support for current operations and investing in people, programs and infrastructure through such areas as student scholarships, international study, campus technology and career services.
President Jim Reynolds is elated with the successful conclusion to “this historic campaign” and expressed his appreciation for each gift and the donors’ belief in Wilmington College.
“Many alumni and friends of the college have acted in a sacrificial way in providing us with funding and commitments to help us achieve this goal,” he said, noting the extraordinary support from many is both “overwhelming and humbling,” and represents a strong belief in the college’s mission and vision for the future.
“Each gift was and will be used for our mighty purpose — to educate students for lives of service and success.”
Reynolds noted how a campaign feasibility study of potential donors and the college’s philanthropic history indicated that — based upon empirical data — the college could expect to raise a maximum of $12 million.
“That was a turning point for me,” Reynolds said. “I realized in those moments that we were going to have to believe in the possibilities rather than just the data. We were going to have to believe in possibilities as if they were certainties.”
If the comprehensive campaign were a marathon, then it exhibited a strong finishing kick on the bell lap as it brought in some $1.6 million during its final six months to put it over the top as it crossed the finish line Dec. 31.
Matt Wahrhaftig, vice president for advancement, said a number of alumni and friends stepped up in the campaign’s waning months to ensure its success.
“This was a comprehensive campaign so all gifts — large and small, restricted and unrestricted — counted toward the total, including planned gifts and those given for The Wilmington Fund,” he said.
Wahrhaftig noted how encouraged he was when some donors offered additional gifts that served to achieve and exceed the $21.2 million goal.
The campaign realized a record six gifts of $1 million or more, 30 of $100,000 or more and 151 exceeding $10,000.
The total gift amount represents a record for any fundraising campaign in the college’s nearly 150-year history.
“We greatly appreciate the generosity shown by stakeholders of Wilmington College to be a part of this historic endeavor on behalf of our students — current and future,” he added.