WLU Foundation launches first ‘‘Make Your Topper mark’’ Program for seniors

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Alexis Montes

Unique WLU Lapel Pin a graduate will receive upon participating in the Make Your Topper Mark program.

The WLU Foundation is launching their first-ever “Make Your Topper Mark” program as part of the WLU Graduate Fair. The program is designed to give senior students and final year professionals the opportunity to make their first alumni gift to the WLU Foundation. Students can choose any academic or athletic program on campus to make their first alumni gift, and 100% of their donation will go directly to the chosen program.

According to Assistant Director of Alumni Giving and WLU alumna, Alexis Montes, making an initial alumni gift is not a requirement, but is encouraged to serve as a thank you to the university for the education and “countless” memories. If students would like to give a gift a specific program at West Liberty, there are several options available. To make an immediate gift, students can make a secure online payment on the Make Your Topper Mark section of the WLU Foundation’s website.

Montes will be attending both graduate fairs where she will have a machine available for students to give a gift using a credit or debit card. The first graduate fair will be held at the WLU Highlands Center on Tuesday, April 13, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. (this fair is for Highland Center students only). And the second fair will be on WLU’s main campus Thursday, April 15, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Students can give cash, checks, debit and credit gifts at either graduate fair. Checks can be made payable to the WLU Foundation and the program students choose to gift can be written in the memo line. Graduates who participate in the Make Your Topper Mark program will receive a WLU lapel pin, be entered into a gift raffle and receive a special letter from Montes.

Students should know making a gift is encouraged and appreciated by the foundation and university; however, Montes emphasized the understanding of student’s financial stability saying, “If a student decides they do not want to make a gift right now, they can always make one sometime down the road.”

Ultimately, the goal of this program is to encourage students to learn the importance of private funding to the university. “Many West Liberty experiences are generously provided by private donations from corporations, alumni, grandparents, friends and family of West Liberty.” Some examples Montes gave to show the importance of private funding and how donations make the university better include buildings such as the West Family Complex, books in the library and supplies in the dental hygiene department.

Montes has taken the lead on the Make Your Topper Mark program and foresees the program becoming a tradition for “years to come”. “I think that the university is going to absolutely love this event, especially the new president Dr. Evans,” said Montes. Montes explained when Dr. Evans started in January, one of his major concerns was alumni participation. Currently, the university has accurate records for about 26,000 alumni, and only a little over 400 give back to the university. “That’s a very small amount. So, I think when the university and the community see these young alumni already starting to give back and already invested into the college we’re going to be set up for success for the years to come,” said Montes.

To learn more about this new program, please visit wlufoundation.org/toppermark, or email Montes at [email protected]