Ilitch gift helps Wayne State enjoy record fundraising year

Wayne State University had a record fundraising year in 2015-16, bringing its capital campaign to nearly 80 percent of a $750 million goal, officials announced Tuesday. Gifts and pledges to the university during the past fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 totaled $131 million — including Mike and Marian Ilitch's $40 million gift to the business school — the highest annual fundraising amount in WSU’s history. The previous record was set in 2014-15 when $99.2 million was raised. Altogether, the university has raised $594 million of its $750 million, a goal set in hopes of reaching by 2018, WSU’s 150th anniversary of its founding. “Gifts to the Pivotal Moments campaign allow us to strengthen our university and truly be a place where all students have an opportunity to succeed,” President M. Roy Wilson said. “Because of where we are, who we are and what we do, Wayne State can be a leader in Detroit’s revitalization and a model for other public urban research universities.” The campaign, known as Pivotal Moments: Our Campaign for Wayne State University, publicly launched two years ago in October 2014. The silent phase of the campaign began in January 2009. To date, more than 71,000 alumni and friends have contributed. WSU officials said supporters have also created $275 million in student scholarships, provided more than $65 million for the research and teaching of faculty; committed $152 million to the university’s endowment and pledged $55 million for campus facilities. “This is a unique time in the history of Wayne State — a pivotal moment — as our city enjoys renewed investment, energy and appreciation,” said Susan Burns, vice president of development and alumni affairs. “Through learning opportunities, research excellence and community partnerships, our donors are helping us make an even greater impact.”

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