2020: A Year like no other
2020 was undoubtedly one of the most challenging years in all of our lives. But we persevered. It takes a village to thrive—let alone survive—during such difficult times.
As we present this impact report to you for 2020, please know that any statistic you see is so much more than a number. It represents a gift that made a difference in the life of a Wright State student—a gift that transformed a dream into a reality. And in the uncertain year that was 2020, your gift might have been the deciding factor as to whether a student could stay in school.
As always, the Wright State University community stepped up to the challenge—nearly $10 million in support!
The compassion of our alumni, donors, community partners, faculty, and staff during this unprecedented year was beyond compare. You helped our students when they needed it the most.
Your collaboration allowed us to continue to provide a quality education under the most unusual of circumstances.
Your contribution will not be forgotten. Thank you for your continued support of Wright State and our students.
2020 Foundation Impact Report
Honoring those who served
Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the George B. Quatman Foundation, Fifth Third Bank Trustee, a new garden will be constructed on the Dayton Campus to honor military veterans and those individuals who serve and support them. Located outside Allyn Hall, the Veteran and Military Center (VMC) Champion Garden will consist of a 1,000-square-foot paver patio with a pergola, benches, tables, and landscaping.
The stories behind the names in the VMC Champion Garden will be captured through a variety of narratives, including digital text, audio recordings, and videos. As students and visitors enjoy the peace and tranquility of the garden, they will also be able to interact with the names that surround them by reading or listening to their stories. Learn more at wright.edu/champion-garden.
Donors from an array of diverse communities stepped up to support Wright State University in 2020.
We had donors from 65 different counties in Ohio and nationwide from 49 states plus Washington, D.C. Beyond the U.S., donors sent gifts from Canada, Qatar, and the United Kingdom.
Donors outside of Ohio
Donors inside Ohio
Donors inside Raider and Laker Country
Helping Those in Need
In a beautiful display of compassion and empathy, the Wright State family came together in 2020 to help our students when they needed it the most. As the COVID-19 pandemic placed the entire world on lockdown, alumni, faculty, staff, and community partners quickly stepped up to donate $67,287 to Wright State students in need.
Many students who faced unemployment due to the pandemic were struggling to put food on the table or keep a roof over their heads. “Work was my only source of income,” said one Wright State student. “I have no extra money to spend on things I need the most, mainly groceries and toiletries. I’m not sure where my next meal may come from.”
As one of the leading donors to the Wright State Student Emergency Relief Campaign, the Dayton Foundation made a grant from the COVID-19 Response Fund for Greater Dayton and directed the gift to the Raider Food Pantry.
HELPING A STUDENT REALIZE THEIR EDUCATIONAL DREAMS IS PERHAPS THE ULTIMATE GIFT OF COMPASSION.
Sealing a New Tradition
For many students, the official seal of Wright State University has always been something of a mystery. Most students never even see it until they receive their diplomas. To help students become more familiar with this symbol of university pride and tradition, the '67 Society student organization devised a plan to permanently display the seal on campus.
After extensive collaboration with Office of Marketing staff and the university's facilities team to determine logistics and cost, the ’67 Society received a Students First Fund grant from the Wright State University Foundation to finance the project.
With the university's seal now prominently featured on campus, students will become familiar with it long before graduation. When they look at their diplomas as alumni in the years to come, the seal will serve as a fond reminder of their days at Wright State.
AT WRIGHT STATE, OUR FACULTY AND STAFF UNDERSTAND THAT BY COLLABORATING TOGETHER BETWEEN ALL AREAS OF CAMPUS WE CAN PROVIDE OUR STUDENTS WITH A MORE COHESIVE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE. OUR DONORS UNDERSTAND THAT TOO.
In 2020, nearly $10 million in charitable giving impacted every area of campus—from lecture halls to libraries, labs to locker rooms.
|Facilites and Equipment||$132,769.00|
|Gifts in Kind||$910,506.21|
|Programs and Services||$1,828,431.92|
Building a brighter future
When Wright State alumnus Vercie Lark and his wife, Lisa, created the Hammond and Lark Family Fund, they wanted to help a group of students who don’t normally receive financial assistance. With high-achieving students often earning scholarships based on their academic merit and lower-income students frequently helped by grants, the couple directed their gift to assist students who are caught in the middle and can easily be overlooked. For mechanical engineering major Donald Seaborn, the Larks’ scholarship has been a godsend.
"Scholarships like these make it so much easier for people of my background. I can focus more on school without having to work as hard," said Seaborn, who has juggled up to three jobs while going to school full time. "Once I graduate, there is nothing looming over my head. I can focus on building my future."
"You don’t have to wait until you’re rich to make a difference," said Vercie. "You can do it at any time in your life if you're willing to give. Give a little. If you do that every year, it adds up."
EXACTLY 5,000 ALUMNI AND FRIENDS MADE COMMITMENTS TO WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY IN 2020, COMPARED TO 4,737 IN 2019. THAT'S A 5% INCREASE DURING A YEAR WHEN ALL OF US WERE DOING MORE WITH LESS.
IT TAKES MORE THAN A VILLAGE
- Per the Ohio Revised Code, municipal corporations with a population of 5,000 or more are considered cities.
- 5,000 is nearly double the population of the nearby Village of Enon.
|Who Gave||Number of Donors||First-time Donors||Total|
|Donor Count||Total Commitments|
|Donors who Gave Commitments of $50 or Less||2,290||$78,833.59|
2020 Alumni Association Annual Report
This annual report is a little different.
Normally we proudly report the number of events, thousands of participants, hundreds of volunteers, and volunteer hours, but 2020 made in-person events and volunteering impossible.
Like many institutions when COVID-19 hit, we had to pivot. We wanted to continue to engage our alumni and rolled out a variety of virtual events and opportunities.
We introduced virtual music bingo, virtual alumni service opportunities, virtual Alumni Speaker Series, virtual network and society meetings, a virtual Homecoming, and the popular Raider on the Rocks virtual mixology class.
We have also increased our social media engagement strategies with more questions, polls, and contests. While we miss seeing our alumni in person, we were thrilled to see alumni in regions that our in-person events do not normally touch. Alumni from Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York City, Florida, Virginia, Louisiana, and even Canada have joined our virtual events!
We have been able to maximize our reach, all while providing free programming to our alumni.
Total Alumni Contributions—FY20
Wright Day to Give
Our bright spot was the outpouring of donations made by alumni to the Student Emergency Funds.
Our Wright State students were hit especially hard by the pandemic, and many found themselves with no place to live and nothing to eat. Our Wright State community stepped up and broke all previous records for number of donors in a single day and total dollars raised on the Wright Day to Give. Wright-Patt Credit Union was the leading corporate donor, contributing $2,500 in matching gifts for diversity and inclusion, and a separate $15,000 gift for six identity group student emergency funds.
The Wright State University Foundation is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) corporation that receives and administers gifts for Wright State University. Although closely related to the university, the foundation is a separate and distinct charitable organization and its affairs are directed and supervised by its own board of trustees.
Looking for more information? The foundation’s financial statements were audited by Crowe Horwath LLP. If you would like a complete copy of the foundation’s audited financial statements, please visit our website at wright.edu/giving/financial-reports or call 937-775-2251.
Thank you for supporting Wright State University!
Learn more about the ways you can continue to impact the lives of students and the community by contacting us.
The Wright State University Alumni Association was founded in 1971. The purpose is to foster a fellowship of individuals who share a common institutional interest and to develop a sound collegiate heritage by coordinating activities and services that contribute to the academic, cultural, and physical growth of Wright State University.
Learn more about the ways you can actively engage as an alumnus, and support current and future alumni by contacting us.