Steven E. Wynne and M. Lee PeltonSteven E. Wynne and M. Lee Pelton

    Campaign for Willamette University Exceeds Goal, Raises $131 Million

    The challenges of tough economic times have not thwarted the aspirations of Willamette University supporters. Today, Willamette President M. Lee Pelton and Steven E. Wynne, chair of the university’s board of trustees, announced the successful conclusion of the Campaign for Willamette: Exceptional to Extraordinary. Launched June 1, 2002, the campaign officially ended Oct. 16, 2009, exceeding its goal of $125 million and raising $131 million in endowed funds for people, programs and facilities that support and enhance academic excellence.

    More than 16,000 donors made a gift during the course of the campaign, making it the most successful fundraising effort in the university’s history. “The alumni and friends of Willamette University deserve admiration and praise for their confidence in the university’s mission and the importance of liberal arts and professional graduate education,” Pelton said. “We are deeply honored that so many individuals chose to invest in Willamette, especially now when financial uncertainty is a factor in every decision. We are grateful for their trust and support.”

    As one of the nation’s top-ranked liberal arts institutions, Willamette draws students from more than 40 states and 25 countries, demonstrating its commitment to global education and international connections. At the university’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management, international students alone account for 40 percent of its scholars.

    Willamette contributes positively to the region, nation and the world through new knowledge creation and the cultivation of future scientists, entrepreneurs, teachers, leaders and researchers, and through its commitment to increasing access to a Willamette education for academically gifted first-generation college students and those with significant financial need. The university’s motto, “Not unto ourselves alone are we born,” is an integral part of the campus culture that fosters in its graduates a keen awareness of the importance of life-long service and civic engagement.

    The most significant achievements of the Campaign for Willamette include:

    • Student scholarships – The need for endowed scholarships is greater than ever. The campaign raised $32 million in endowed resources to support student access initiatives.
    • Living and learning facilities – More than $33 million will enhance where and how students learn. Improvements include: construction of Kaneko Commons, a LEED Gold certified student living-learning community; completion of Ford Hall, a LEED Gold candidate, which integrates state-of-the-art learning technologies and planned space to facilitate cross-disciplinary teaching and problem-solving; and the renovation of two historical buildings, Oregon Civic Justice Center and Kresge Theatre, which enhance academics and community outreach for the law and performing arts programs.
    • Faculty support – Nearly $55 million will support the university’s commitment to highly personalized teaching and small class sizes. New endowed funds will play a major role in a planned increase of 25 additional faculty positions and expanded programs in the graduate schools of law and business. The university’s campaign reached $131 million with a recent gift of $3 million, from the estate of alumnus Mark Teppola and his wife Melody Teppola, to fund an annual appointment of a visiting scholar of national or international note. The Teppolas owned and operated Portland-based National Builders Hardware.

    For more campaign results, visit To view a photo gallery of campaign achievements, go to