Wake Forest University announced Tuesday it has exceeded its $1 billion goal in its fundraising campaign with a donation from the late Arnold Palmer’s trust.
The trust’s $1.5 million gift as part of the fundraising campaign will establish the Winifred W. Palmer Professorship in literature at Wake Forest, WFU said in a statement.
In October 2016, the university said it had set a new fundraising goal of $1 billion by 2020 after surpassing its initial goal of $600 million two years ahead of schedule.
Cheryl Walker, a WFU spokeswoman, declined to reveal the exact amount that the university has raised.
“We will share a final total amount raised when the campaign concludes in June,” Walker said in an email.
WFU President Nathan Hatch said in a statement that he was pleased the university has achieved its fundraising goal.
“This historic moment for Wake Forest is only the beginning of what a community united behind a common mission can accomplish,” Hatch said. “Milestones like this invite higher expectations, and we embrace our role and responsibility to create, educate and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.”
About 60,000 donors have contributed more than 500,000 individual gifts and commitments to Wake Forest’s fundraising campaign so far, the university said. More than 70% of the gifts have been for less than $1,000.
More than one-third of the money raised supports student scholarships and financial aid, enabling Wake Forest to recruit, enroll and support high-achieving students regardless of their families’ financial circumstances, the university said. One in five students now receives some form of financial aid, and student debt has been reduced by 30%.
The fundraising effort called Wake Will Lead began in 2013. The university has raised money for more than 200 of its scholarships, WFU said.
“In each gift, we see the great care of alumni, parents and friends for this special place,” said Mark Petersen, the vice president for University Advancement who is leading the campaign. “We will never take their personal investment for granted. We are grateful for the generosity of so many in transforming Wake Forest.”