KALAMAZOO, Mich.— Calling it not only historic but visionary, Western Michigan University’s President says the donation is transformative and a striking vote of confidence in the direction of the university.
Visionary Western Michigan University graduates have donated to the WMU Foundation $550 million, the largest gift for a public institution of higher education in U.S. history.
President Edward Montgomery calls it “Forward thinking in design, scope and size, this historic philanthropic contribution will be known as the Empowering Futures Gift. The donors, alumni who have chosen not to be named, earmarked their record-breaking contribution to WMU and Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed).”
“We call it the Empowering Futures Gift because at its core is our donors’ belief that inclusive education empowers people and communities to create a bright future for all,”
The donation will be spread out over 10 years with 300 million dollars going towards Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. 200 million is earmarked for scholarships, mental health support, improving diversity of educators and staff, and adding staff to help students find careers.
50 million dollars will be spent on athletics, including recruiting and retention, as well as programs for students who might be interesting in attending Western.
“This incredibly generous gift and the array of support it enables is about how we assist any student who has the skills and the ability combined with the grit and determination to come to college to complete their education and reach their promise,” Montgomery says.