Giving to Wright State

About the Foundation

Our History

Student First Fund LogoThe Wright State University Foundation was incorporated on December 15, 1966. Our founders were leaders of business and industry from throughout the Dayton region. Robert S. Oelman from National Cash Register Company, James M. Cox, Jr. from the Dayton Daily News, Eugene W. Kettering from Winters National Bank, Richard O. Michael from Champion Papers, and C. William Verity from Armco Steel Corporation were among those serving on our first board of trustees.

Thanks to the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations from throughout our region, state, and nation, the Wright State University Foundation has distributed more than $51 million in scholarships and established 811 scholarship funds over the last five decades.

The Wright State University Foundation has also successfully spearheaded two comprehensive fundraising campaigns: Tomorrow Takes Flight and Rise. Shine. The Campaign for Wright State University.

The Tomorrow Takes Flight campaign concluded in late 2006 with a final total of $123.1 million, more than triple the original goal of $40 million. Two hundred new scholarships were created, along with five endowed chairs and professorships and two named colleges.

Rise. Shine. The Campaign for Wright State University concluded on June 30, 2017, with more than $167.7 million raised for scholarships, attracting more top-flight faculty, and supporting construction of state-of-the-art facilities. 31,310 donors supported the campaign, including 17,659 first-time donors to Wright State. Fifteen Wright State alumni each donated $1 million or more to Rise. Shine.

Our Vision

The Wright State University Foundation’s vision is to be a best-in-class foundation, matching the resources, passion, and commitment of our donors with the needs of students and the strategic direction of the university.

Our Mission

The Wright State University Foundation’s mission is to partner with Wright State University in promoting and facilitating a culture of engagement and philanthropy by raising funds and managing and distributing the resources entrusted to us in support of the university’s mission and priorities.

Our Values

We are committed to:

  • The needs of students and the passion of our donors
  • Responsible stewardship of resources with accountability and transparency
  • Long-term relationships with the community and alumni
  • Diversity and inclusiveness
  • Innovation and resourcefulness

Our Strategic Plan

Developed in 2016, the Wright State University Foundation’s strategic plan builds on the success of Rise. Shine. The Campaign for Wright State University and positions the foundation for an even greater impact on the future of Wright State University. Our strategic plan will help cement the foundation’s role as the preeminent fundraising arm for Wright State University.

Download the Strategic Plan (PDF).

Our Board of Trustees

Andrea Kunk (’04, ’07), Chair
David Deptula (’80), Vice Chair
Bill Diederich (’91), Secretary
Brian Kohr (’94), Treasurer
Travis Greenwood (’84), Immediate Past Chair


Martha Balyeat (’03)
Linda Black-Kurek (’78)
Aaron Brautigam (’21)
Michael Bridges (’81)
Chris Brookshire ('11, '14)
Douglas A. Cook (’81, ’85)
Holly Di Flora

David Donaldson (’88)
Barbara Duncombe
Dana Frazer, M.D. ('96)
Karla Garrett Harshaw ('84, '13) 
Stephen Hightower
Kristina Kean ('96)
Eugene Leber (’86)
William W. Montgomery
Robert Reynolds ('88)

Danielle Rolfes (’97)
Tom Sheehan
Pamela vonMatthiessen, D.V.M., M.D. (’98)
Matthew Watson ('07)
Rob Weisgarber (’77)
Sonja Wolf (’18, ‘20)

Ex-officio Members

Susan Edwards, Ph.D., President, Wright State University
Scott Rash, Foundation President & CEO

Foundation Staff

Robert T. Batson, Chief Financial Officer
Andrea Wall, Executive Assistant and Foundation Assistant Secretary