Diana Thomas, junior public relations major, combines student loans, a work-study position and a part-time job to pay for school. When she was awarded an endowed scholarship by the Webster Works fundraising campaign, she said she was thankful.
President Elizabeth Stroble announced during convocation Jan. 13 that the campaign exceeded the original goal of $55 million by raising $56.5 million.
The Webster Works campaign provided 45 new endowed scholarships. Thomas received one of them — the African American Association Collegians (AAAC) Alumni Scholarship of $3,000.
“I definitely think it’s great that there’s more money available,” Thomas said. “An extra $1,500 a semester is great.”
Faith Maddy, vice president of development and alumni programs, said the campaign was originally launched in Jan. 2003, and was publically announced in Sept. 2010
Maddy said three goals were determined that Webster needed more physical facilities, growing endowment and increased operational support.
Maddy said roughly $23 million was invested in facilities, $12.5 million invested in endowment scholarships and nearly $21 million went to Webster’s annual support fund.
Maddy said because of the scholarships, students are equipped to do what they need to receive a great education.
“There are students who would not be here if it wasn’t for this kind of support,” Maddy said. “The more we can do, the more we can continue to have students be able to have the kind of resources they need to get the education they want.”
In terms of facilities, the much-needed space for more classrooms, Maddy said, was a driving force behind the campaign. Maddy said the East Academic Building, which now houses the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology, provides the kind of living and learning environment students from all disciplines need.
“We have not built a classroom building on the campus since the late 1980s,” Maddy said. “There was a need to definitely have expanded classroom space to allow us to consolidate our academic offerings so that we weren’t using outside resources such as Webster Groves High School. We needed increased space and we needed more technological space.”
Expanding facilities for the biological and health sciences programs is also currently in development. Maddy said the university acknowledges that new laboratory space is needed.
“How much of that space and what it will look like are the discussions and dialogues that are part of the overall institutional campus Master Plan,” Maddy said.
Maddy said she believes the success of the campaign is due to those who understand Webster’s vision of growing.
“Even though we may not have broken ground on those physical spaces (for biological facilities), there are people in the alumni, corporate and foundation communities who understand that need of vision for Webster and are investing in it,” Maddy said.
The annual fund, which is also considered operational support for the campus, provides scholarships by consistent donations. The fund has grown through the Webster Works campaign.
“One component of the annual fund is where donors can say, ‘I’m going to give you money, you put it wherever you think the need is greatest,’” Maddy said. “We also have donors who give annually who designate it. It’s people who annually support the institution with gifts that allow the institution to do what it needs to do.”
More than 12,000 donors supported the campaign. Maddy said the donors came from different backgrounds.
“It was a combination of alumni, individual, corporate and foundational support,” she said.
Maddy said the last 10 million came in over the last 16 months.
“Every gift matters,” Maddy said. “Every single gift brings us a step closer. Whether it’s one dollar, a hundred, a thousand or a million. Our job as an institution is to help prospective donors, regardless of whether they’re alumni, individuals or corporations, know what our vision is and how they can invest.”