Wichita State first generation students walking on the second floor of the Rhatigan Student Center on campus

Answers to frequently asked questions

You’ll find helpful information about the WSU Foundation and Alumni Engagement and its functions here. If you have a question that is not addressed below, please email us at shockerconnect@wichita.edu.


  • Who are we?

    Established in 1913, the WSU Alumni Association coalesced around a dedicated group of alumni led by Harry Shuler for the purpose of creating a Shocker community of university supporters. In tandem, the WSU Foundation, which was founded in 1965, has championed private support to advance the mission and vision of the university. With a combined 168 years of experience, the two organizations united in 2022 to create a single alumni-and-donor serving organization optimizing support of Shocker Nation through combined philanthropy and alumni engagement efforts.

    Our mission is to elevate, celebrate and advance Wichita State University through engagement and philanthropy. We do this by living our core values of integrity, collaboration, excellence and service in all our interactions with Shocker Nation.

  • Why is private support important?

    WSU is a state-assisted public university, with state support providing about 25% of the university’s educational costs. The remainder comes from sources including tuition, auxiliary services, grands and contracts, and private philanthropic support. Private support is critical to help create a margin of excellence that is unattainable without it.

  • What happens once a gift is contributed to the WSUFAE?

    The gift will be placed in an existing or new fund, depending on the donor’s designation. If it is a current fund, the gift may be spent in its entirety. If it is an endowed fund, it will be invested so as to exist in perpetuity. A portion of earnings from endowed funds are distributed annually to the university recipients.

  • How are the WSUFAE’s fundraising priorities determined?

    Each college is assigned at least one development staff member who discusses priorities with the college dean. Deans present their priorities to the WSUFAE’s leadership team, and the WSUFAE president and CEO then discusses these priorities with the WSU president and provost to determine which will be emphasized during the coming year.

  • What fees are assessed on gifts?

    WSU Foundation and Alumni Engagement is an independent and private organization that receives only 9% of its operating budget from a contract-for-service with the University. Therefore, 5% of all money raised is invested in the capacity of our staff to increase private support provided to WSU.

    Endowment Administrative Fee:
    On July 1 of each year, all endowed funds are charged an administrative fee based on a 20-quarter rolling average of market values. A 1.65% fee is assessed on funds with market values =/>80% of net gift value. A 1.5% fee is assessed on funds with market values 76-79% of net gift value, excluding funds where donors overrode board policy. A 0% fee is assessed on funds with market values =/<75% of net gift value, excluding funds where donors overrode board policy.

    Liquidation Fee:
    The WSUFAE assesses a 5% liquidation fee on estate gifts as they are received.

    Gift Fees:
    A one-time fee of 5% is assessed on all incoming gifts, including endowments. A 20% fee is assessed on gifts to the Shocker Fund, excluding contributions from faculty & staff, to offset costs for student callers and operational expenses.

  • Who governs the WSUFAE?

    A volunteer board of directors governs the WSUFAE. Currently, we have 19 voting members who meet three times a year. Members are elected and authorized to act on behalf of the National Advisory Council, a group of about 110 alumni and friends who promote Wichita State University and help guide the work we do.