The Online Edition

President’s Letter

Gateway to the Future Campaign Will Transform Wilkes

Six years ago, the University’s Gateway to the Future Strategic Plan was created with the bold goal of developing Wilkes into one of the finest small universities in the nation.  Significant funds would need to be raised in order to meet the ambitions outlined in the plan, so work began on the Gateway to the Future Campaign.

The largest and most comprehensive fundraising effort in University history, the Gateway to the Future Campaign aspires to raise $55 million dollars in support of transformative campus enhancements, endowments for research and scholarships, and annual resources.


Wilkes President Patrick F. Leahy shares his vision at the kickoff of the Gateway to the Future Campaign. Photo by Knot Just Any Day

In the four years since the start of the Campaign, we have raised more than $45 million to advance Wilkes University.  To see evidence of this progress, all you need to do is step foot on campus. The Campus Gateway Project has reshaped the Fenner Quadrangle and areas surrounding the Henry Student Center. Investments in Stark Learning Center, including the new Mark Engineering Center, have transformed an aging academic building into a showpiece.

In addition, properties along South Main Street continue to be redeveloped in support of our academic programs.  The Sordoni Art Gallery welcomed record numbers during its inaugural year in its new location and students continue to thrive in the Karambelas Media and Communications Center.

Many more less obvious aspects of the Wilkes experience have been improved through the generosity of donors. Programs were established to enable Wilkes students to study abroad. Naming gifts have provided lasting support for our Passan School of Nursing and Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing, and dozens of deserving students have received tuition relief from newly endowed scholarships.

Last month, I had the pleasure of celebrating these achievements with the Wilkes community at the public kickoff for the Gateway to the Future Campaign. While much has been achieved since 2012, there is more work to be done.  During this final and most critical stage of the Campaign, we will need the support of all of our alumni to ensure success.

This fundraising effort allows you to direct your funds to the area of Wilkes that means the most to you.  Your contribution is more than just a financial commitment – it is also a display of your pride in Wilkes.  You see, the percentage of alumni who give to their alma mater is the only way third-party rankings measure alumni satisfaction.

So I urge you to reflect on your Wilkes experience and make a gift of any amount in support of the Gateway to the Future Campaign. I hope that you will consider the ways in which you can help us build the Gateway to the Future here at Wilkes.

Patrick F. Leahy, President