Higher Education

Wabash raises $3.9M in record-setting fiscal year

Alumni support reached 40% for ninth straight year

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Capping a year packed with giant achievements, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends propelled Wabash College to the highest annual fundraising total in the institution’s 190-year history.

More than $3.9 million was donated in the 2021-22 fiscal year to the College’s Annual Fund, surpassing the record that was set last year by $300,998.

The Annual Fund, which is made up of unrestricted support and helps deliver the College’s signature liberal arts experience to students every year, included gifts from more than 5,200 donors.

For perspective, this annual fund total provides the equivalent of 83 full-tuition scholarships, summer research and internship opportunities for 100% of the student body, or covers room and board expenses for 332 students.

“I don’t have the right words to express my gratitude to the Wabash Nation for rising up to support our students, faculty, and staff with such unprecedented generosity,” said President Scott Feller. “Amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and a global economic crisis, our alumni, parents, and friends demonstrated their unwavering commitment to Wabash.”

Wabash alumni again were generous with their support, and reached a 40% participation rate for the ninth consecutive year — a mark that is not only among the best in all of higher education, but positions the College to maintain its ranking for top alumni network.

Alumni who made gifts represented 75 consecutive classes from 1948 to 2022. The Class of 1991 led all classes with 111 total donors, followed by the Classes of 1989 (88), 1988 (85), 1983 (84), and 1977 (84) rounding out the top five.

The Annual Fund’s success comes on the heels of a historic, event-packed year made possible by benefactors of the College. A few highlights include:

Feller inaugurated as the 17th president of Wabash College

Dedication of the new Little Giant Stadium and Frank Navarro Field, named in memory of Coach Frank Navarro

Launch of the Stephenson Institute for Classical Liberalism, made possible by the generosity of Richard J. Stephenson ’62 and Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson

Athletic achievements including Wabash football’s comeback victory and return of the Monon Bell, wresting’s second-place finish at the NCAA Division III Championships, basketball’s run to the semifinal round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, and track and field’s sweep of the NCAC Indoor and Outdoor Championships for the seventh time in the last 12 seasons

The Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies celebrated 50-plus years of service and unity

More than 350 guests returned to campus for Big Bash 2022, marking the first traditional reunion celebration since 2019

The College also celebrated a successful ninth Day of Giving on April 19, when more than 3,050 donors gave $1.41 million. In a 24-hour fundraising effort to support current students, the Wabash community broke records for the total amount raised and the average amount raised per student. The latter figure was $1,744, which is $75 more per student than last year’s record.

“The theme for our Day of Giving was ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants,’” Feller said. “Our alumni, parents, and friends left no doubt on whose shoulders we stand. And all of us at Wabash are thankful.”

The annual fund total contributes to the Giant Steps Campaign, the largest fundraising campaign in Wabash’s history. As of June 30, the campaign stands at more than $230.5 million with gifts and commitments from more than 11,100 donors.

Giant Steps is focused on strengthening opportunities for Wabash students and faculty through philanthropic investment in endowed funds, the Annual Fund, and capital projects. Nearly 90 new endowed funds — an average of two new endowed funds each month — have established new endowed scholarships, academic department and program funds, and new faculty professorships and chairs.

“Alumni and friends continue to take their own Giant Steps for students,” said Joe Klen ’97, Associate Dean for College Advancement. “Their generosity has created extraordinary momentum for Wabash.”

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