Wake Forest University receives extraordinary commitment from ZSR Foundation

Wake Forest University and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation announced today the foundation’s pledge to contribute an annual percentage of its income to the university.

In the first commitment of its kind to any organization, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has pledged a perpetual gift of 3 percent of its annual income to Wake Forest. In the first year, that gift is predicted to be about $750,000 and is expected to grow each year thereafter. The new gift is similar to adding $15 million to the university’s endowment. Earnings from $15 million in endowment would generate approximately $750,000 for the university each year.

Jock Tate, president of the foundation, announced the gift at a Nov. 3 press conference at the university. Wake Forest President Thomas K. Hearn Jr. accepted the gift on behalf of the university.

This pledge is the largest long-term commitment ever made to the university by a foundation. It will be applied toward the university’s capital campaign, “The Campaign for Wake Forest University: Honoring the Promise.” The campaign will have its public kickoff in April.

“I thank and commend the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for its support of our students and faculty,” Hearn said. “With this gift, the university will be able to address the top two priorities of our capital campaign: scholarships for students from middle-income families and salary supplements for faculty.”

The largest portion of the gift-25 percent-will fund scholarships for North Carolina students from middle-income families. Since Wake Forest was founded in 1834, undergraduates from North Carolina have outnumbered those from any other state.

Twenty percent of the commitment will support Joseph G. Gordon Scholarships and 15 percent will support Nancy Susan Reynolds Scholarships. Both scholarships were funded earlier by the foundation.

“We are pleased to invest in the formation of young lives and ultimately, the future of our state and region,” Tate said. “We hope this partnership will continue Wake Forest’s efforts to empower students who want to use their education to make the world a better place.”

Another 20 percent of the foundation’s commitment will be used for salary supplements for promising young faculty members and to establish new Reynolds Professorships. The most prestigious of Wake Forest’s faculty honors, the Reynolds Professorships were funded in 1982 with support from the foundation.

The remaining 20 percent of the gift will be used for special undergraduate programs and needs. During the capital campaign, the money may be used to match gifts from individuals for endowed scholarships for the undergraduate College.

The university’s partnership with the foundation began in 1946 when Wake Forest accepted its proposal to move the university from the town of Wake Forest to Winston-Salem. Since that time, Wake Forest has received more than $63 million from the foundation.

This recent commitment comes in addition to a $1.2 million annual grant the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation currently gives to Wake Forest. The foundation’s last gift to the university- $200,000 annually to fund Zachary T. Smith Scholarships for North Carolina students- was in 1996.

The foundation was created more than 60 years ago by the siblings of Zachary Smith Reynolds under the counsel of their uncle, William Neal Reynolds. The objective of the foundation was the accomplishment of charitable works in the state of North Carolina. No other general purpose foundation in the country as large as the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation-its two trusts have approximately $500 million in assets-has the legal mandate to make grants within a single state.

The foundation is headquartered in Winston-Salem, where it was founded in 1936.

Categories: University Announcement