Laurie Leshin and Donna Stock

President Laurie Leshin and Vice President for University Advancement Donna Stock

Featuring Donna Stock, Vice President of University Advancement

LL: Donna Stock, great to be with you to talk about the Beyond These Towers campaign. Talk a little bit about this campaign.

DS: Happy to do so and happy to be leading this effort and collaborating with so many partners around the globe as we look to elevate WPI’s reputation and visibility, and secure the resources to go beyond these towers.

LL: What does the theme ‘Beyond These Towers’ mean?

DS: You did a great job at the Trustees meeting recently where you said, this is beyond our campus. In addition to bringing the world back to the WPI campus, we’re also talking about the impact that alumni have made throughout the entire globe.

LL: The goal is $350 million in philanthropy, and $150 million in sponsored research for a total goal of half a billion dollars. I like the sound of that. Where are we in getting to that goal?

DS: When we had our public launch (on Oct. 28), we were three quarters of the way toward that goal. That’s a significant accomplishment, and we’re proud of where we are right now.

LL: Let’s talk a little bit about why this is so important. What kinds of things are supported through the campaign? It’s really about aligning with our strategic plan, right?

DS: The campaign is the underpinning of the strategic plan. Access and affordability are key areas, providing resources for students and lowering barriers through financial aid. We’re focusing on undergraduate scholarships, which many of our alumni received themselves, and some have already paid it forward with gifts. Graduate fellowships are also important. Part of the campaign will provide stipends to allow more students to travel around the globe without financial barriers. Also important is supporting the Great Minds Scholars, which encourages Pell-eligible students to attend WPI.

LL: Front and center is support of student well-being and mental health. Funding for the new Center for Well-Being is part of the campaign as well. Also facilities—the places where our students are learning, where our faculty are discovering. Tell us about the Alden Trust Challenge.

DS: The Alden Trust has been very generous to WPI over the years. The challenge is, if we raise $20 million for facilities, then they will match that by $5 million. And not just for our new academic building. It’s also for any renovations that may happen across campus.

LL: For all the alumni who are reading and watching, what do we need from them in this campaign? How can they help us go beyond these towers?

DS: Our students are the lifeblood here, and they go on to be accomplished alumni. As we travel around and have conversations with alumni, they always give credit to WPI and the theory and practice that were the base of their education. We’re asking our alumni to be those bridges to bring WPI’s stories out into the greater world, and share the excitement of what we can do after the completion of this wonderful campaign.

LL: Absolutely. We’re asking for their partnership in raising the funds to move the institution forward. And thank you to everybody who’s already given.

Transcript condensed for use in print.

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