People who raise money for Weber State are optimistic that the school's upgraded status to university will mean more donations from alumni and the community.
Most doubt there will be an immediate impact when Weber State College becomes Weber State University on Jan. 1, but they believe an enhanced image, an unofficial shot of credibility and community pride should help generate more cash."It's my firm conviction that the university title, if on nothing more than letterhead, has an appeal that will represent additional credibility," said Dean Hurst, an assistant to President Paul Thompson.
This credibility is an essential fund-raising ingredient in Utah, where Weber State competes with the University of Utah, Utah State, Brigham Young University and now Southern Utah University for donations.
"We're surrounded by schools vying for the same dollars," said Hurst, who has worked for more than 20 years in fund-raising positions at Weber State. "Many corporations will give a nickel to the college and a dime to the university."
The Weber State Development Office, which organizes most fund raising, has a knack for collecting the donations it seeks. A three-year campaign ending in September 1989 netted $16.5 million, $3 million over the goal, said Don Spainhower, the office's executive director.
He looks forward to the indirect effects the name change will have in future years. More students are likely to enroll at Weber State because of its university status, and the institution should draw industry to Ogden, he said.
Spainhower's office currently raises between $1.8 million and $2.5 million per year, but an increasing number of Weber State graduates will mean increased donations from alumni later on, he said.
The Weber State University Foundation also is a helping hand in fund raising.
And the name change "certainly couldn't hurt" the foundation's efforts, said foundation President E. LaMar Buckner.
"Some corporation groups have limited resources and might be more willing to give to a university rather than just a `college.' We want to embellish these opportunities," Buckner said.
The foundation gave about $700,000 to Weber State in 1989, and Buckner hopes to boost the total this year.