Manchesters make $5 million gift to WFU
By Kevin Cox
Wake Forest University trustee Doug Manchester and his wife, Elizabeth, are donating $5 million to Wake Forest University, with most of the gift dedicated to support of faculty in the university's undergraduate College.
The Manchesters, of La Jolla, Calif., are parents of a Wake Forest student and a 2003 graduate. Doug Manchester is the founder and chairman of the Manchester Financial Group in San Diego.
In recognition of the historic gift, the largest made by parents of a current student, Wake Forest is naming in their honor an academic building and an adjacent popular outdoor area of the Reynolda Campus.
West Hall will be formally dedicated as Manchester Hall at a campus ceremony Oct. 21. The building is part of the Calloway Center for Business, Mathematics and Computer Science. West Hall houses the mathematics and computer science departments.
In addition, Manchester Plaza, formerly known as Magnolia Court, will be dedicated at the same campus ceremony. The area comprises an extensive lawn bordered by academic and administrative buildings. Students regularly gather on the lawn for a variety of functions each year, including community service projects, small concerts, outdoor meals and talent shows.
"Betsy and I are grateful for the excellent education and opportunities that our children have found as Wake Forest students," Doug Manchester said. "Throughout their years at Wake Forest, they found outstanding faculty who have demonstrated a genuine commitment to their development as college students."
Doug Manchester said he and his wife are committing 80 percent of their gift, or $4.2 million, to unrestricted support of the College faculty.
"With this gift, we wish to demonstrate our support of a faculty dedicated to the development of Wake Forest students and preparing them for their future lives," Doug Manchester added.
The remaining 20 percent of the gift will go toward support of the university golf program.
Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch said the generosity of the Manchesters will benefit the university's ongoing effort to attract, retain and reward faculty who nurture and strengthen Wake Forest's academic culture.
"Wake Forest depends on its faculty, its teacher-scholars, to continue developing as a premier liberal arts university," Hatch said. "Proper funding of faculty needs is an important goal at Wake Forest."
The gift by the Manchesters will be counted toward the university's current capital campaign, which has raised a total of $632 million. Of that amount, $367 million has been raised toward the Reynolda Campus's goal of $400 million.
This is the Manchesters' second significant gift to Wake Forest. The Manchester Athletic Center at Wake Forest is named in their honor.