Western Challenge 2022 Shatters Goal

The usual hashtag for the Western Challenge at Western Illinois University is #LeathernecksGive … and did they ever! Members of the WIU Leatherneck family helped WIU meet – and exceed – its goal for the 2022 Western Challenge event on April 22.

According to Annual Giving Executive Director Tim Hallinan, the 2022 event was the highest Western Challenge revenue achieved, with 1,042 donors contributing to the sixth annual Western Challenge Online Giving campaign. When the goal of 1,000 was met, that unlocked some special matching gifts, which resulted in a total of $212,426 being raised 24+-hour giving event.

Through social media, email campaigns, texting and other communication, more than 50 campus and community advocates worked together to encourage giving at every level. This year’s theme was “Give to Something that Influences Everything.”

“While giving greatly impacts students, our alumni participation rate influences our rankings, which influences enrollment, additional gifts from corporations and foundations and more. I am proud of, and grateful for, the alumni, friends, faculty and staff, parents and students who came through to make this year’s Western Challenge a record-breaking effort,” Hallinan said. “This year’s success is a testament to the support from our Leatherneck family to directly benefit current and future students while raising the profile of our University.”

Numerous campus areas benefited from the match and challenge dollars unlocked during the Western Challenge. Donors pledging a match or challenge included:

$25,000 Matches/Challenges: Hiroki Tongu (student scholarships) and Scott Clarke (Excellence in Student Leadership Scholarship).

$2,500 Matches/Challenges: Anonymous (Veterans Resource Center) and Dave and Jackie Thompson (Col. Rock IV Live Mascot Fund).

$2,000 Matches/Challenges: Anonymous (University Housing and Dining Services) and
Shane and Tena Bennett (Shane and Tena BennettScholarship).

$1,000 Matches/Challenges: Gerry Salzman; Deb Miller; Gerald Patton; Matthew Toland; and
Regina and Chad Hyatt; Brad and Cindy Severs.

$100 – $500 Matches/Challenges: Anonymous; Bill Maakestad and Jean Wolf; Amber Schultz; Drew Donahoo; Justin Schuch; Tracy Davis; Steven Catlin; Garry and Margie Johnson; and Mac Price.

“Friday was truly a great day to be a Leatherneck. Congratulations to our Annual Fund Executive Director Tim Hallinan on a job well done in coordinating a successful day,” said Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations Amy Spelman. “The outpouring of support from our alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students for the Western Challenge was a true testament of the pride we all have in this great University.”

Donors chose to support a wide range of needs during the Western Challenge, including first generation students, scholarships, the Colonel Rock Mascot Fund, University Housing and Dining and more.

“Once again, I want to thank Tim Hallinan for his leadership role for the Western Challenge, and to all of the individuals and areas that got involved and made the 2022 Western Challenge a successful day,” said WIU Foundation Executive Officer Brad Bainter. “Finally, we extend our deepest appreciation to our many alumni and friends for their support of WIU. It was a great weekend on campus for many reasons and the Western Challenge moved our giving efforts forward as we look to have one of the best years ever at WIU.”

***Report Courtesy of Western Illinois University***