President Luckey: Increase Lindsey Wilson Endowment to $100 Million
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 [1:01 AM]
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- A year ago, Lindsey Wilson
College President William T. Luckey Jr. challenged Founders' Day
Dinner attendees to help the college reach its $53 million
"Changing Lives Campaign" goal.
At this year's Founders' Day Dinner, Luckey issued another
clarion call -- raise the Lindsey Wilson Endowment to $100
Last year "was clearly a defining moment in the life of this
college," Luckey told more than 400 people who attended the 2011
Founders' Day Dinner, held on Thursday night in Roberta D. Cranmer
Dining & Conference Center.
When Luckey issued his challenge a year ago, the college had to
raise $809,676 in 70 days in order to meet the $53 million goal of
the "Changing Lives Campaign."
"That was a lot of money to try to bring in in 70 days," Luckey said.
Instead, the college raised almost $3.7 million in 70 days, and
the "Changing Lives Campaign" topped out at $56 million.
"You communicated loudly and clearly that your love, your
passion, your commitment to this place and its people went far
beyond my imagination," said Luckey, who has been the college's
eighth president since July 1, 1998.
As Lindsey Wilson trustee Jams R. Fugitte of Elizabethtown, Ky.,
reminded the audience, the "Changing Lives Campaign" allowed the
college to dramatically expand its campus. Now the college must
build an endowment of at least $100 million in order to secure its
"The college is strong now, it's the envy of many of its peers,
but to keep this college strong and growing, we need a stronger
endowment," Fugitte said.
The success of the final 70 days of the "Changing Lives
Campaign" inspired Luckey and the college's trustees "to keep our
collective foot on the accelerator as we dream new dreams for this
One of the chief reasons the college needs at least a $100
million endowment is to stem the threats of cuts in federal aid to
students, Luckey said. With 72 percent of LWC undergraduate
students qualifying for a federal Pell grant -- an aid program
reserved for the neediest students -- the college needs to take
steps to ensure those students' needs are always met, he said.
Earlier this year, proposed cuts to the Pell program would have
cost LWC students about $2 million, Luckey said.
"We can no longer rely on Uncle Sam," he said. "Our federal
government is broke and our commonwealth of Kentucky is out of
money. … That's why we need to grow our endowment -- to protect our
students from future reductions from the federal government."
Luckey said that the decision whether to aggressively fund
education at all levels has created a "defining moment" in U.S.
"I believe our country is at a defining moment in its history,
where we can either try to balance our federal budgets on the backs
of our students by slashing our support of education on all levels,
and essentially eating our seed corn, or we can decide to invest in
our future -- in our people in our students -- to compete in a
global economy," he said.
The Founders' Day keynote address was given by June
Scobee Rodgers, wife of Space Shuttle Challenger commander
the late Dick Scobee and founding chair of the Challenger Center
for Space Education.
Earlier in the day, the LWC community
recognized more than four dozen students and faculty at the Honors
Convocation, held in Biggers Sports Center.
Paige Walls of Taylorsville, Ky., received the
President's Award for her near-perfect grade point average during
four years of studying psychology and giving more than 1,000 hours
of community service to the region.
The United Methodist Church Division of Higher Education
Exemplary Teacher Award was presented to Associate Professor of
Biology Melissa Clauson, and the LWC Student
Government Teacher of the Year Award was presented to Assistant
Professor of Criminal Justice Michael Giordano.
... Click here to learn how to make a gift to the
Lindsey Wilson Endowment. Click here to see more pictures from Founders'
Day and Honors Convocation.