WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. - West Liberty University announced the launch of its $22 million "Capital Campaign for a Great University" fundraising drive that officials said will "fund the future of West Liberty University" on Friday during the school's homecoming weekend.
"Today I am energized by the opportunity to announce an ambitious plan to keep West Liberty University moving forward," said Leslie "Les" DeFelice, chairman of the West Liberty Foundation. "The Capital Campaign for a Great University represents a partnership and the work of so many.
The result of this fundraising effort will touch the lives of students and the entire region for many years to come."
West Liberty University President Robin C. Capehart speaks during a press conference announcing the launch of WLU’s $22 million fundraising campaign that will “fund the future of West Liberty University.”
The university already has secured 70 percent of the $22 million overall campaign goal and has a fundraising goal of $4 million for this year.
The university cited steady increases in enrollment in the past seven years, the beginning of the new Physician Assistant Studies master's degree program, the addition of the women's soccer team to the NCAA Division II and the new soccer field as reasons for raising the funds.
"I'm so proud to be a part of this campaign. It's an ambitious goal and we will have to work hard to reach it, but I know that people love this institution and recognize how far we've come," WLU President Emeritus Clyde Campbell said.
Former director of athletics for West Virginia University Ed Pastilong will assist the campaign as a consultant.
He said the primary focus of the athletic portion of the campaign is a lighting project for the athletic facilities.
"This particular venue is extremely important for our athletic teams and not only does it benefit the athletic teams, but it benefits the band, the physical activities and the overall ability for the students to use the facility even when it gets dark in the evenings," Pastilong said.
"West Liberty University is a wonderful university and it's nestled in a very beautiful part of the world, and the reputation for educational leaders is outstanding.
"The athletic tradition is well-known throughout the country, and this particular campaign allows our university to continue its academic excellence and its athletic tradition.
"It is a bold $22 million endeavor, and I'm confident that the team will achieve it."