Earlier this month, the Wake Will fundraising campaign reached a new landmark of $800 million. By the end of 2017, Wake Forest raised this amount in donations, gifts and commitments to the continued success of the university. This fundraising initiative formally began in 2013 with a speech by President Nathan Hatch at the annual Homecoming celebration. With this donation amount reached, the university has turned to achieving its overarching goal of raising $1 billion by 2020.
Prominent alumni, such as Porter B. Byrum — who posthumously donated $70 million towards making Wake Forest more financially accessible for all students — have pledged their financial support of the program. At its core, Wake Will was founded to offer support to students, faculty, staff and campus projects. Thus far, the campaign is on-track with these initial plans, with new developments in all sectors of the university.
Regarding student development, the Wake Will campaign pledged to give 33 percent of all donations to student financial aid, reaching a sum of around $270 million. Fourteen million dollars have been distributed thus far. Additionally, 30 new academic funds have been created, offering students grant money for research, internship support and further financial aid. For graduate students, there has been a 54 percent increase in scholarships for students at the School of Law. The university also commissioned 10 Presidential Chairs created to recruit new faculty positions such as the Chair of Jewish History, the Chair of Political Economy, the Chair of Business Ethics, the Chair of Computer Science and Entrepreneurship and others among them.
According to the mission statement of the Wake Will campaign: “Wake Will Lead by preparing students to succeed in jobs that don’t yet exist, to be leaders and citizens of character, and to practice the intercultural competence necessary for a global society. We will educate students in promising fields of study in new and existing locations around the globe. And we will develop students who will become worthy of their professions.”