Topeka, Kan. - Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation has reached its halfway point in its innovative “I Will for Washburn” campaign, securing more than 50 planned gifts to support the future of Washburn.

In 2022, Washburn announced that two sets of donors—Greg, bba '88, and Jaena, ba '89, Greenwood, and Bruce and Theresa McPherson— made a combined $1 million gift to the university to encourage others to put Washburn in their will or estate plans.

The “I Will for Washburn: Greenwood/McPherson Legacy Challenge” allows anyone who makes a new, documented commitment including Washburn as a beneficiary of their estate to receive $10,000 from the Greenwood/McPherson fund to immediately direct to any area of Washburn. The campaign is the first in Washburn’s history dedicated solely to encouraging people to remember Washburn in their wills or estate plans and has set records in number of planned gifts committed to the University in a fiscal year. The total future commitment from the donors exceeds $9 million. The campaign also recently received the Best of CASE District VI award for annual or regular giving campaigns from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

“The first 50 gifts from generous donors will, simply put, transform the future of Washburn and leave a lasting legacy for those who make the commitment,” said JuliAnn Mazachek, president, Washburn. “We are excited about this milestone in the campaign, and we look forward to continued conversations with those interested in advancing the mission of helping students find a pathway to successful college education.”

Anyone is eligible to participate in “I Will for Washburn” and the $10,000 can be directed to any Washburn fund or entity on campus. The Alumni Association and Foundation offers multiple resources to those who wish to establish their commitment in a will or trust.

“When we meet with donors, we know they feel a sense of comfort and pride in being able to establish a plan for the future and give back to the areas that are important to them,” said Marshall Meek, president, Alumni Association and Foundation. “It’s exciting to see their passion for Washburn and know that once they are gone, their legacies will continue here.”

Randy, ba ’88, and Debra Clayton, owners of Clayton Wealth Partners, made their planned gift commitment to Washburn during the “I Will for Washburn” campaign. Knowing the McPhersons and Greenwoods, they joked it was a fun opportunity to spend their money.

“Debra and I give to Washburn because it is an important part of the Topeka community where we have raised children and built a company,” said Randy Clayton. “I was a non-traditional student at Washburn, working full-time and taking classes part-time. I never got the traditional dorm room or fraternity experience, and we want to make sure college students are able to receive a great education while enjoying their time at Washburn.”

More information about the campaign can be found at

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For further information, contact:
Sarah Towle
Executive Director of Engagement
(785) 670.1744 (office)
(785) 221.1472 (cell)

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