Dear Alumni and Friends,

It is important in life to identify and work hard on goals, and it is equally important to celebrate when those goals are achieved. That is exactly what happened at Magnolia Mingle on Friday, March 30, at our recent Homecoming festivities. “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang rang out, balloons were released and the crowd cheered.

What was the celebration all about? You! Andrea Stevens, executive director of the MUW Foundation, announced the $25 million goal for the Be the Light campaign had not only been reached, but also exceeded! And, here is the icing on The W’s red velvet cake, the goal was reached earlier than anticipated. All of that is a lot to cheer about!

When I think about just how much money $25 million is, many things come to mind. Of course, I am excited about the campus wide impact this will have as state-of-the-art facilities become a part of the geography of our campus, and I also keep thinking about the students and faculty who will leave their footprints on W soil and their impact on W life—people who would not be there without the scholarships and endowments these dollars will fund. Athletics will now be able to expand with programs that will generate excitement for participants and build loyalty and a sense of pride in the W among all students.

The athletes themselves will have a higher retention rate, develop leadership skills that will benefi t them throughout their lives and hopefully will always feel the tug to support their W.

Achieving this goal took many, many donations, large and small. Th e success is the result of so many who benefited from attending Th e W and wanted to pay that forward. I am appreciative of every single gift. On behalf of the Foundation Board of Directors, I commend Andrea and her staff and our
dedicated team of volunteers who worked tirelessly to reach out to all those who made this dream come to fruition.

Dollars also have been raised outside of this campaign. In the 2021-2022 academic year, the Foundation provided more than $1.9 million in scholarships to 476 students from 338 funds. How do these funds really affect the recipients? Here are the thoughts of just two:

“The W has been the perfect choice for me. The choice that still feels right even when the days are hard. The W has provided me with great opportunities, including serving as a peer mentor and studying abroad. Th e nursing program is challenging, but our faculty stands by us ready and willing to help as they prepare us, to enter the nursing field.”

—Chelsie Mickel, senior/nursing

“As a scholarship recipient with two jobs, I value my education
and am thankful for alumni who want to make an impact in
my life. My professors know my career goals and want me to
be successful. I’ve already made some of my best friends, great
connections and many memories that will last me a lifetime.”

—Larry Fain, junior/accounting

Since The W was chartered in 1884, superior academics, intimate class sizes and exceptional faculty have been supported through generous financial support from alumni and friends. Once again, I thank everyone who joined the Long Blue Line with their donations to continue this commitment to excellence.

With Heartfelt Thanks,
Jenny Katool, Class of 1978
MUW Foundation Board of Directors