Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association reports successful year at annual meeting

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Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association reports successful year at annual meeting

September 28, 2016 

Alumni talkingTwenty-five endowments established, a record-setting fundraising year totaling more than $5.6 million raised and a new record number of donors (1,445) – these were some of the achievements celebrated at the Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 20. The Annual Meeting, which took place on Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Alva campus, covered details of the recently completed fiscal year (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016).

(Pictured right) John Allen (left), director of alumni relations, welcomes executive committee member Dick Caruthers (center) and Donna Anderson (right), superintendent of Cherokee Public Schools, to the Annual Meeting on Sept. 20, 2016.

The agenda also included a presentation from James D. Hinkle, Hinkle & Company, PLLC. Hinkle reported a clean audit of the Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association for Fiscal Year 2015-16.

Following Hinkle, Steve Bahm – the Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association’s investment advisor – reported the investments had a positive 6 percent return for the trailing 12 months. Earlier in the day, the Investment Committee unanimously approved following Steve Bahm and his partners as they transition from Morgan Stanley to their own firm, 6 Meridian. 6 Meridian is a Securities and Exchange Commission registered advisory firm headquartered in Wichita, Kans.

Cunningham & Stands

(Picture left) Dr. Janet Cunningham (left), university president, thanks Gene (right) and Virginia Stands (center) for their contributions to Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

“We have had an amazing year thanks to our generous donors and the outstanding Northwestern Team,” said Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation CEO. “We exceeded our previous fundraising record set in 2012 by more than $1.5 million. I don’t know how we will ever exceed that but I said the same thing in 2012. I do know that about anything is possible when you are surrounded by amazing people focused on a common goal – our students.”

Bird said that Northwestern has the most endowed chairs of the universities in the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO), with a total of 43. He added that 1,205 – or six out of 10 – Northwestern students received scholarships during the 2015-2016 academic year, putting the foundation and university closer to their goal of seven out of ten students receiving scholarships.

“As we review the progress of our capital campaign over these last three years, I am astonished. We are still in the quiet phase of our capital campaign; yet, we have raised more than $21 million in actual dollars, pledges, and planned gifts,” said Bird. “Even more inspiring is the number of endowments and projects that have materialized during this campaign. It excites me to know we are really making a lasting difference for Northwestern and our students!”

Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president, said enrollment increased 4% with a total of 2,220 students enrolled at Northwestern for the current fall semester, compared to 2,135 for the fall 2015 semester. She also reported a 12.2% jump in the freshman class size, from 384 students last year to 431 this year.

Skeeter BirdCunningham said Northwestern welcomed eight new full-time faculty for the fall 2016 semester. The Alva campus also saw improvements made to the all-male dorm, Coronado Hall, with fully renovated bathrooms and the addition of all new furniture to the fourth floor.

(Pictured right) Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association CEO, reports details of the 2015-2016 year to those in attendance at the Annual Meeting on Sept. 20, 2016.

The Annual Meeting concluded with a reception to thank Northwestern donors who increased a level of giving over the past year, as well as board members who have served on the foundation’s executive, investment, governance or stewardship committees.

For more information, contact Bird at aebird@nwosu.edu or 580-327-8593.

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