Frequently Asked Questions

Why does W&L need a Parents Fund?

Most private schools have three main sources of funding: tuition, income from the endowment, and annual gifts. Tuition simply does not cover the cost of running a private university. Philanthropy, which includes funds derived from endowment income and annual giving, is currently the largest single source of revenue in W&L's operating budget. Without the generous support of current and past parents — along with alumni and friends — tuition would have to be much higher than it currently is to maintain the W&L experience.

Annual gifts to The Parents Fund are not invested — they are used right now to sustain current year operations and activities. Annual gifts are the lifeblood of the institution. The Parents Fund contributes almost 20 percent of the Annual Fund.

How much are parents and families asked to give?

The decision as to the size of your gift is a personal one — the important part is that parents participate in the Parents Fund, no matter the amount. Parents give from $10 to $100,000, and participation at every level is needed and appreciated! When you make a gift to the Parents Fund, it will be joined with the gifts of other parents, and those gifts add up to a remarkable total! In 2016-17, current and past W&L parents donated $1.8 million to the Parents Fund. This is a significant endorsement that W&L parents believe in the mission and direction of the University and support it with their own giving above tuition.

What is the Leadership Giving level?

W&L recognizes parent giving at two important leadership levels:

  • The Parents Leadership Council. The Parents Leadership Council (PLC) includes parents who make an annual gift of $5,000 or more to the Parents Fund. PLC members are invited to attend a special reception with university leaders over Parents Weekend as well as a special PLC weekend, with an agenda of social and informational activities, each spring.
  • The President's Society. Parents giving at the level of $2,500 and above are automatically designated as members of The President's Society. These donors are invited to attend a special breakfast briefing with senior members of the administration over Parents Weekend and to enjoy invitation-only activities at other events on and off campus.