Thursday, October 4, 2012

202,000,000 Thank-Yous

In several of my blog posts, I have alluded to the fact that we at Western Kentucky University completed our New Century of Spirit Campaign on June 30, 2012. We gathered recently for our Gala to celebrate the campaign’s conclusion and finally find out the total that has been held secret for almost three months.

Drum roll, please…..$202,305,534. So excited that we met and surpassed the goal! Whoops….shout outs….high fives….confetti….champagne…..pats on the pack….HUGE smiles…..and lots of relief.

Our mid-major university has completed not one, but TWO, major capital campaigns back to back in 14 years. (Well, almost back to back... the first campaign ran from 1998-2003 and raised $102M – the goal was $68M; this campaign started in 2005, going public in 2007). I wasn’t a part of the first, but joined WKU just as the second campaign got underway…, what a journey it has been.

That’s why it was so fun to see people I worked with from our Campaign Cabinet to WKU faculty to our wonderful donors and my dedicated and truly devoted colleagues to get dressed up Hollywood style and celebrate this great accomplishment.

WKU went public with the New Century of Spirit campaign in 2007, just before our nation went into our economic crisis. While it didn’t make things easier, we were able to weather that storm and now we are seeing the gold at the end of the rainbow.

Yes, my colleague, Cheryl Kugler (WKU’s new Director of Prospect Research) and I are busy laying the groundwork for the NEXT campaign. That’s part of the job in Prospect Research, isn’t it? But we are taking lessons learned to make us better prepared and to have a firm foundation on which to launch our fundraisers to that next level of success.

But enough of that. This weekend was about CELEBRATION! And how we did! With lots of glitz and glam and fun!

And with that thought in mind, I wanted to share one of the best parts of the evening. All year long our celebration committee had been coming up with great ideas to do things up right, and this movie “Hilltopper of the Century” – starring WKU junior (class of 2014) Marquon Bartee and WKU faculty, staff and students (yes, our division is right in there waving red towels). A shout out has to be given to Madhouse Creative from Toledo, Ohio. They produced and directed the video. Just fabulous people to work with. (

Without further ado…. and in the spirit of this campaign, I’ll let WKU seize the day and be efficient with every single rhyme and each and every thank-you - 202,000,000 of them.

Theresa Clark, WKU Senior Research Analyst, APRA MidSouth

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