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In This Issue


From computers to culture, annual fund’s collective support makes lasting impact

Students in Haiti
Students were able to participate in the 2015 Puebla program, in part, because of gifts to the WSU Foundation’s Annual Fund for Excellence.

Wichita State University students and faculty from the College of Health Professions traveled to Haiti last November to provide physical therapy, assist with surgeries and treat patients suffering from rashes, intestinal issues, sciatic nerve pain and diabetes.

Next month, for the 53rd year, WSU students and teachers will travel to Puebla, Mexico, for six weeks to study the Spanish language, experience living in another country, become immersed in the culture and earn college credit toward a degree or teacher certification.

Students in Haiti
Wichita State physical therapy students traveled to Haiti last fall to work with residents in need of medical services. This program is supported entirely by the WSU Foundation’s Annual Fund for Excellence.

What do the Haiti initiative and the Puebla program have in common? Both programs are supported by the WSU Foundation’s Annual Fund for Excellence, which provides funds to college deans to enhance opportunities for students and faculty. Your gifts to the annual fund make a difference in the lives of our Shockers and, consequently, to people across the world.

Sandra Bibb Sandra Bibb , dean of the College of Health Professions, quotes John Maxwell who said that “momentum is the greatest of all change agents.” According to Bibb, “Momentum is what the annual fund provides for the College of Health Professions as we lead change in healthcare education.”

This momentum is exemplified by WSU’s participation in the Haiti initiative, which is supported entirely by annual fund contributions, and other programs. The students’ work allows them to apply and refine their newly minted skills. The experience, for both faculty and students, is life altering in ways classroom lectures and clinical rotations cannot provide.

When asked how the annual fund benefits the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dean Ron Matson Ron Matson identified many projects, including funding for travel, faculty and staff requests for specialized software, research opportunities throughout the college, support for field camps and, in addition to the Puebla project, support for an international summer program in France.

“All the annual fund money becomes discretionary spending for the college and the departments,” said Matson. “Given the current budget constraints in Kansas and WSU, discretionary spending revenue is worth 10 times the actual dollar amount because of the flexibility it gives to our academic units. Literally, the donations are priceless.”

“The money raised during the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, is for the deans to use during next fiscal year,” explained Caite Holman Caite Holman , senior director of WSU Foundation Annual Giving. “They know it’s coming, so plans on where it will be spent have already been made. They count on it each year.

“Major gifts impact the university in big ways,” said Holman, “but an extra gift to the annual fund will impact the individual colleges everyday.”


For nearly 41 years, Wichita State has been conducting telephone campaigns to raise unrestricted dollars. Today, the call center is located in the Woodman Alumni Center basement on the WSU campus. For more history on the annual fund, please click here to read a July 2015 Horizon story.