Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 10/22/2013

Has the campaign started? How long will the campaign last?

The campaign has been in the silent phase until April 2010. The amount of the lead gifts that were raised during this time period determined the goal and anticipated length of the campaign. The public phase of the campaign was launched during alumni weekend in April 2010. This phase of the campaign is ongoing. We are currently projecting that the campaign will end some in later summer of 2013. There are many factors which make this deadline somewhat tentative.

What is the silent phase?

It is NOT a secret phase. The silent phase of a campaign is the period of time during which an organization secures its lead gifts before making a public announcement about the campaign—launching the campaign. Supporters are more likely to offer support when they can see that a campaign is off to a successful start.

What is a lead gift?

A lead gift is one that is donated at the beginning of a campaign that is expected to set a standard for future giving. It helps provide momentum at the outset of a campaign.

What is the campaign goal? What will the money go toward?

The financial goal for the campaign is $11.7 million and will be distributed towards the following components: Greek Residential Complex, $8.2 million; Center for Ethics and Global Studies, $3 million, and Alumni & Visitors’ Center, $500,000.

What happens to Imagine Campaign gifts that are made from the time that they are deposited until they are actually used for the campaign's projects?

The funds are accounted for and deposited separately from all other university funds and endowments in a single interest-bearing account at a local bank.

Is an Alumni Center a part of the plan?

The university leadership has adopted a long-term plan that would involve converting the President’s Residence into The Tom and Claudine O’Connor Alumni and Visitors’ Center.

Where does the President live?

Like at many other universities, William Woods encourages the President to live within the local community, either through a housing stipend provided to the President by the university, or through a university-owned home in the community. At Alumni Weekend 2011, WWU announced that a trustee made an in-kind gift of real estate to the university that is the largest gift of its kind in WWU history. The home is now in service, and has allowed William Woods to begin the process of repurposing the president's home on campus to serve as the Tom and Claudine O'Connor Alumni and Visitors' Center.

Is my gift to the Imagine Campaign tax-deductible?

William Woods University is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization. A charitable gift to the Imagine Campaign is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by applicable laws and in accordance with state and federal statutes. All donations to the university are acknowledged by letter. The letter outlines the details of the gift and serves as documentation for the donor's record-keeping purposes.

Can I direct my gift to one component of the campaign?

All components of the campaign work together and for the good of one cause: the future of William Woods. We hope you will embrace the entire project and support the future of the university. Naming opportunities are available that enable donors to publicly show which component of the project they support the most passionately.

When will I be asked for my gift?

The campaign is utilizing a phased approach. The campaign will be rolled-out in phases involving Greek and non-Greek alumni, and friends, and a faculty/staff phase. The timeline of the campaign is subject to change. The board of trustees/alumni board phase ended on October 9, 2010. The Greek phase began October 10, 2010 and ended in Spring 2012.

What is the Center for Ethics and Global Studies?

It is a programmatic initiative that will provide students with more opportunities for participation in community service and service-learning projects with the ultimate goal of broadening their perspectives. It has several components: short and long-term study abroad; international student services; and ethics and diversity courses. The Center’s director will, among other things, focus on development of curriculum/courses that meet the common studies ethics and global diversity requirements.

Who will be asked to participate in the campaign?

All William Woods’s alumni, parents, trustees, faculty, staff, and friends will be asked to invest in this important endeavor for the university.

How does this affect my annual giving, or other giving?

Through this capital campaign, William Woods University is asking the community to make significant investments in the future of our university. However, we continue to depend on funds raised for current operations through the WWU Loyalty (Annual) Fund, the President’s Club Giving Society, and the Parents’ Association. Donors will be asked to maintain current annual gift levels in addition to campaign investments.

When will the Sorority Circle and Amphitheatre be built?

The construction elements and timetable are not yet finalized and are contingent upon the fundraising that will take place during the campaign. As these details are finalized, they will be shared with the public. Preliminary, conceptual renderings/schematics (which are not construction plans) and videos have been developed to illustrate how we envision the project at this time for all aspects of the project. These will continue to evolve as the design and construction process unfolds.

How will my gift be counted in the Sorority Challenge for the Imagine Campaign?

Any gift to the Imagine Campaign after January 1, 2008 will be counted in the Sorority Challenge according to Greek affiliation attribute on file in our database or as expressed at the time the pledge or gift is initiated. The challenge will remain in place until construction is ready to begin.

What is the Sorority Challenge?

The sorority challenge is a competition between the members, alumni, parents, and friends of the four sororities at WWU to raise the funds for their portion of the Sorority Circle and Amphitheatre project. Each sorority has been challenged to raise $1 million. The first sorority to reach $1 million will be allowed to select its preferred location from among the four possibilities. The second sorority to reach $1 million will have second choice, and so on. In the event that the sororities do not raise $1 million, the sorority that raises the most will get first choice, and so on. Gifts to the campaign will count in the Sorority Challenge, including matching gifts from employers, so long as the donor requests this at the time of the gift. If a gift is made to the Imagine Campaign from an alumna who is identified in our database as having a sorority affiliation, it will automatically be counted in the challenge as a gift representing that sorority.

What furnishings are included in the construction cost for the Sorority Circle?

In their planning process, the architects included typical, residence hall-grade furniture for the bedrooms and common areas except the chapter rooms. Because the sorority houses are university-owned residence halls, they will be furnished in the same manner as any residence hall on the WWU campus.

Where will the Sorority Circle and Amphitheatre be located?

An architectural engineering firm has determined that the most cost-effective and aesthetically desirable site WAS where the older residence halls are currently located. However, increasing enrollment has made it impossible for these buildings to be taken out of use during construction of a new facility. The architects surveyed campus for another site where a slightly smaller building might be constructed and the ideal site was determined to be just north of the McNutt Campus Center adjacent to the Virginia Cutlip Center/Aldridge Recreation Center.

With only 34 beds in each of the four new sorority houses, not all members will be able to live in the house. What will happen to chapter cohesion? Who will live in the house?

Issues related to Greek residence halls involve multiple departments and staff (including residential life, Greek life, and others) and impact not only Greek students but all residential students. The Sorority Circle will provide each of the four sororities with an equal number of beds. Each chapter will need to work within their national sorority's guidelines and work with WWU staff to determine which students will live in the houses. While the approach can differ by chapter, most of these policies are similar. Like most college campuses, WWU did not allow freshman to live in Greek houses until approximately 2000, and this policy changed only as the number of residential students declined and the need to fill the residence halls became apparent. The option at that time was either to change the freshman policy or move sororities into smaller houses. WWU is now in the enviable position where on-campus enrollment is at an all-time high and the need for modern residence halls is evident. Once the new halls are constructed, sophomore, junior, and senior members will be allowed to move into the Sorority Circle as space is available. Some chapters will have seniors will want to participate in the off-campus "lottery" system, and each chapter will need to address this individually, with the guidance of their advisors to best meet the individual chapter's needs and support a cohesive environment for members.

Why are only 34 beds being provided to each chapter in the planned Sorority Circle?

While the university considered providing larger houses, the reality is that the size of the house is governed largely by the ability to raise the necessary funds for construction from constituents. Based on the leadership gift phase of the Imagine Campaign and considering current economic realities, the $8.2 million cost of the planned facility is realistic, if not slightly optimistic. Additionally, according to experts in the field, and the university's desire to encourage freshman to live with other freshman throughout the campus, the facilities planned are adequate to support a vibrant Greek community of our size.

What is the funding priority? What will happen if we don’t reach our goal? Are there components of the project that will be cut first?

The number one priority is providing adequate student housing. We intend to reach—hopefully surpass—our goal. But if for some reason we do not, we will address altering the construction plans as necessary.

What about the Athletic/Wellness Complex?

The current number one priority is providing adequate student housing. Based on what we believe our fundraising capacity to be for this campaign, it was not feasible to include the athletic facility at this time. The university does recognize the interest in such a facility and will keep that in mind as planning moves forward for this and future campaigns.

What other types of financing does William Woods have in place for this project?

It is in the best interest of the university to fund as much of the construction as possible through charitable donations. Once fundraising is well under way and the lead gifts have been secured, other financing will be addressed as necessary. It is the hope of William Woods to support this project through the generosity and support of the WWU community and friends.

What kind of materials can be given “in kind” toward the construction?

Consideration of “gifts in-kind” – the donation of materials and/or services - will be made on a case-by-case basis. Gifts in-kind present unique challenges to the University, the architect, and the contractor for the project, as this type of gift introduces risk that is difficult to manage.

Will there be naming opportunities available?

Yes! There are naming opportunities for the Sorority Circle and Amphitheatre and the Alumni and Visitors’ Center. Soime of these are on the campaign web site at If you have questions, please contact

I am very interested in this campaign! Who should I contact?

Please contact Scott Miniea, associate vice president, if you are interested in supporting the campaign or if you have any questions or concerns regarding the campaign. Scott may be reached at 573.592.1633 or at

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