University News

WIU Endowment Reaches All-Time High

April 10, 2018

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- The efforts of the staff of the Western Illinois University Foundation, led by Vice President for Advancement and Public Services and Executive Director of the Foundation Brad Bainter, have led to the institution's endowment reaching a new all-time high.

According to Bainter, a recent estate gift of land and real estate, valued at over $2.3 million, from late WIU Physical Education Alumna Kay Kennedy has pushed the Foundation's endowment to nearly $55 million. The total net assets of the Foundation are now just over $65 million.

"Kay always supported Western Illinois University. She believed in WIU and in the WIU Foundation. Her gift will be used to support faculty research at the Vishnu Springs property, which was in Kay's family for decades, as well as provide maintenance and upkeep to the grounds," Bainter explained.

In addition, the Kennedy Endowment will provide funding for scholarships. Over the years, Kennedy supported the Department of Biological Sciences by providing $50,000 for the purchase of microscopes and she also established an endowed scholarship in kinesiology (formerly physical education) with a gift of $50,000.

"Coming out of the recession of 2009, the Foundation's endowment stood at approximately $20 million, so we've really seen some incredible growth in the last nine years," Bainter added. "The growth of the endowment has also pushed scholarship disbursements to record highs. During FY17, nearly $1.7 million in scholarship support was provided by the Foundation, an increase of 105 percent over the last 10 years."

In the current fiscal year, 43 new scholarships have been established, noted WIU Foundation Board President and WIU Alumna Jackie Thompson.

"Fundraising and development is an every day, every week, every year focus. From scholarships to endowments to matching gifts, Vice President Bainter and his development staff work incredibly hard to ensure that Western students, faculty and staff have the philanthropic support they need for their studies, research and more," Thompson added.

In addition to donations and endowed gifts, planned giving is also important to the future of Western, Bainter said. Currently, the WIU Foundation has documented nearly $41 million in estate gifts, including bequests, life insurance, annuities and trusts, that will benefit Western for years to come.

Bainter, along with the Foundation's Executive Director of Development Paul Bubb, Annual Fund Director Tim Hallinan and Western's college-level development officers, are gearing up for The Western Challenge event, a day-long giving event set on Purple & Gold Day April 24.

"I would like to thank our many generous donors for their continued support of Western, and to our development officers for ensuring continued success at WIU," Bainter said. "This is truly an amazing University, with incredible alumni and friends, who believe in Western Illinois University and all that it stands for."

For more information on giving opportunities, visit or contact Bainter at (309) 298-1861.

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