Wayne State Launches Campaign to Raise $750M


DETROIT — Wayne State University has launched a fundraising campaign to raise $750 million, the urban school’s second most comprehensive fundraiser in its 150-year history.

“We have an ambitious vision to become a pre-eminent, public urban research university, and it only stands to reason that we need an equally ambitious campaign to achieve that vision,” says WSU President M. Roy Wilson. “Our alumni and friends, as well as our foundation and corporate supporters, are passionate and dedicated, and I know we can work together to create an even stronger, brighter future for our university, city, state and world.”

Each of Wayne State’s 13 schools and colleges will be part of the Pivotal Moments campaign, in addition to the University Press, the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute, the Institute of Gerontology, Athletics and WDET. Together, these areas will be raising funds for the university’s campaign priorities to: 

  •  Inspire our students and faculty to be curious and passionate;
  • Discover new approaches, solutions and areas of inquiry through multidisciplinary, translational and applied research;
  • Create fresh expressions of existing knowledge; and
  • Engage through community service, enriching the culture and economy of Detroit and beyond.

“Our priorities are broad in scope because Wayne State is broad in its reach,” says Wilson. “The university’s impact is significant, far-reaching and comprehensive, and our campaign priorities must be as well.”

Wilson says of all the university’s priorities, inspire is the most significant because of its focus on students, with a goal to provide support for endowed scholarships, internships, study abroad and success programs. The priority represents the largest percentage of the overall campaign goal at $275 million.

“Our students are hardworking and tenacious, and they are our highest priority,” says Chacona W. Johnson, vice president for development and alumni affairs. “Our university is literally educating our future, and we must ensure we are doing so in a way that best prepares our graduates to be successful in an increasingly global and competitive society. Donor support can help enhance the student experience and provide funding for endowed scholarships, as well as programs and initiatives not typically covered by tuition.”

Wilson says as state support now provides funding for less than one-third of Wayne State’s operations, philanthropy has become even more important to the university’s mission.

An event to celebrate the launch the campaign will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday with showcases across campus, and a premiere at the Hilberry Theatre at 4 p.m. to mark the official launch of the campaign. 

For more information about the campaign and launch activities, visit pivotalmoments.wayne.edu.