Coming Together In Hard Times: Community Shows Extra Generosity in 2020 with Donations to WP

The spirit of giving has been especially vibrant in and around the William Paterson University community this past year, despite—or perhaps inspired by—the challenges we’ve all faced during the global pandemic. 

The most recent example comes from Valley Bank, with national headquarters in the campus’s hometown of Wayne, which has recently pledged $1 million to William Paterson University for endowed scholarships.

“We are grateful to everyone at Valley Bank for supporting William Paterson, our students, and our shared Wayne community,” said University President Richard J. Helldobler. “William Paterson is truly fortunate to have alumni, as well as friends in our community, who are helping our students succeed in a time of great need by supporting everything from scholarships to the campus food pantry.”

Repeatedly throughout 2020, supporters have stepped up and fundraising initiatives launched by the University’s Office of Institutional Advancement exceeded goals. Most notably, WP recently concluded a five-year fundraising campaign for student scholarships, bringing in at $16 million, or 60 percent above the original $10 million goal. The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation pledged to renew a previous gift totaling $1 million for student scholarships, whereby $250,000 per year would come in to the University across the next four years.

Meanwhile, exceeding the goal again, more than $100,000 was donated to the Student Emergency Support Fund by WP alumni, friends, and members of the campus community in support of students struggling with the loss of jobs or wages related to the pandemic, covering immediate needs such as medical bills, rent and more.

The University’s annual Giving Tuesday campaign, celebrated this year on December 1, amassed more than four times the amount of last year’s campaign for eight different initiatives across campus, ranging from sustaining the Student Center’s food pantry to supporting the campus radio station and research stipends for Honors College students.

“The generosity of University alumni, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community in 2020 will benefit our students in numerous ways for generations to come,” says Vice President of Institutional Advancement and President of the William Paterson University Foundation Pamela Ferguson. “We are so incredibly thankful for the extra recent support shown to our students as they work to receive the greatest gift of all: education.”