Williamson ’ s Unique Approach to Education Continues Expanding Opportunities
From Arlene A . Snyder , CFRE , Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Williamson College of the Trades is different . There is no other institution like this ; it is unique . Since its founding in 1888 by Isaiah Williamson , we have provided a way for young men to learn a good mechanical trade , earn a good living , and become useful and respected citizens . Williamson continues to stand out not only for the quality of our trade education but also in our commitment to provide tuition , room , and board to every young man in attendance .
These differences are greater than in the past . Some other colleges and universities are diminishing and disappearing across the landscape . Yet the opposite is taking place at Williamson College of the Trades .
Last year , Williamson was excited to announce our next comprehensive capital campaign , Expanding Opportunities : The Campaign for Williamson . We knew that programs needed to be created and expanded . We understood the need for more students to attend . And each opportunity is expanding at the college because of the close friends and partners who are a part of the Williamson community .
This year , Williamson has nearly reached our goal of $ 45 million for Expanding Opportunities — in the third year of a five-year campaign ! We are thrilled to announce that both dormitories in our original plans — the Strine Dormitory and Howley Dormitory — were funded . Our new electrical program has completed its first year . The success of this campaign at this early point is a testament to the vision each of you have for this college .
I am excited to share that we finished our 2022-23 fiscal year receiving over $ 11.3 million in charitable gifts . Astonishingly , over $ 4.9 million of this funding provided for the Williamson Fund , a year for the record books in our annual support of young men at the college . I am pleased to thank the Rowan Family Foundation , Maguire Foundation , Nick Ohnell , Ken and Elaine Langone , Tim and Diane Crow , and an anonymous donor , each of whom have joined our Legacy Society , endowing scholarships in perpetuity for one or more students .
The philanthropic support of Joseph and Marion Wesley continued to astound and humble all of us as they announced a $ 20 million legacy trust . I am thankful for their generosity and long-time partnership that continues to expand the vision and mission of Williamson .
Another great story of this campaign is the expanding community of supporters growing above and beyond our expectations . This past year , Williamson saw an increase of 18 % in individual donors seeking to support the college . Our alumni giving reached the highest numbers we have seen in five years — 24 % of our graduates made a gift toward Expanding Opportunities . And the Class of 2023 has developed a heart for philanthropy in their time at Williamson , with 100 % of our seniors committing to give back to the college — a testament to the education they ’ ve received .
As we look forward to the new academic year , we know there are still significant needs on campus . The renovation plans for Derrickson Dormitory are the next step in our capital fundraising . Scholarships for our young men remain a needed — and well supported — priority .
But Williamson College of the Trades is different . We have a generous community of alumni , corporations , foundations , and friends that believes in our mission to prepare our young men to be respected leaders and productive members of society . I am excited to partner with each of you as we continue Expanding Opportunities .