A Message of Appreciation In response to the historic success of Honor Our Past, Build Our Future: The Campaign for Washington and Lee.

To the University Community:

In response to today's announcement of the successful conclusion of Honor Our Past, Build Our Future: The Campaign for Washington and Lee, I express sincere appreciation to everyone who made it possible — the entire advancement staff; the campaign cabinet; the faculty, staff and students who inspired the generosity of donors; and of course the many, many supporters who placed their trust and confidence in Washington and Lee University.

There is much to celebrate at this moment. We have reached and surpassed a goal. This has been a historic campaign for us, and for all liberal arts colleges. We met our goal with the help of 77 percent of our undergraduate alumni, who made a gift at some point along the way and were joined by countless law alumni, friends and parents. Their generosity resulted in new academic programs, new courses, new research and teaching facilities, a renovated historic landmark, and new facilities for global learning and for athletics, among others.

More important, though, is the unmistakable commitment to the people at Washington and Lee - those exceptionally qualified students who would not be able to attend the University without financial assistance; the dedicated faculty we can retain and support throughout their careers; and the staff who help our students in ways seen and unseen. The strength of W&L has always been its people. This campaign ensures that it will remain so in the future.

It is tempting to describe this capital campaign as transformational. Instead, it has affirmed a mission dedicated to the liberal arts, to professional study enriched by the liberal arts tradition, to strong student-faculty relationships, and to educating students for character as well as knowledge - all in an institution with a storied past, and now with a future even more promising.

My thanks to everyone.

Kenneth P. Ruscio