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600.6 - Philanthropic Naming and Endowment

University Group Policy #600.6

#.  Policy Statement

Significant gifts to support Winston-Salem State University offer the opportunity to recognize donors. Such opportunities may include the naming of a building or other campus space, or the creation of a permanently named endowment fund.

The purpose of this policy is to establish and apply guidelines for gift naming opportunities that recognize extraordinary and enduring contributions to the campus and the larger community. These guidelines establish consistent criteria for facility and endowment designations. Additionally, the policy will:

  • Provide the opportunity to recognize donors appropriately for their significant gifts in support of Winston-Salem State University.
  • Promote parity and long-term fiscal stability across the university’s schools, colleges, and programs.
  • Provide transparency and guidance to donors, WSSU administrators, and staff about the desired gift amounts for naming opportunities across campus.

#.     Definitions

Naming opportunity

A project, program, facility, or other item to be funded that provides an opportunity for a donor to attach a name (theirs or somebody else’s) to the project, program, facility, or other item to be funded.

Facilities

Includes all buildings, rooms, interior spaces, exterior spaces (gardens, courts, plazas, memorials, markers, etc.), streets, athletic fields, open spaces, and all other tangible and relatively permanent features owned, operated, or controlled by Winston-Salem State University and/or its affiliated entities.

Programs

Includes all schools, colleges, departments, institutes, centers, and other units associated with the university. This policy also applies to the naming of academic chair and faculty positions, faculty and staff awards, lectureships, scholarships and fellowships, and other programmatic enhancements that significantly contribute to the fulfillment of the university’s mission.

Endowments

An endowment fund can be established through gifts from private individuals, corporations, foundations, associations, and other organizations, so long as those gifts meet university guidelines on endowment minimums by type. Endowments are invested to allow for the principal to remain intact, in perpetuity, while a portion of endowment earnings is distributed annually to support the purpose designated by the donor through a formal gift agreement with Winston-Salem State University.

Endowments may be established with a one-time gift, a series of gifts, a pledge paid over a period of a specific number of years, wills, trusts, gifts of appreciated assets, or by a combination of these. Gifts can be added to an established endowment at any time.

In certain instances, which must be outlined in a gift agreement, a specific amount of the gift commitment must be received prior to the actual naming of the position, program, building, space, or project.

Service Contributions

Includes contributions of an extraordinary nature in a field of endeavor or society in general. Typically, the honoree will have a significant connection to Winston-Salem State University as a donor or supporter, alumnus, administrator, or faculty or staff member and will have made outstanding contributions to Winston-Salem State University or the larger community in education, research, the arts, civic or public life or in other areas consistent with the university’s mission, vision, and values.

#.    Guidelines

Naming Criteria

Winston-Salem State University will provide naming opportunities:

  • To recognize individuals who have attained achievements of extraordinary and lasting distinction. Generally, these will be individuals who have had direct, substantial, and active association with the university. For individuals who have not had such an association with the university, selection may be based on the individual's record of scholarship, creativity, leadership, humanitarian service, or public service.
  • To recognize organizations, events/dates, places, or programs significant to the life and/or history of the university. Examples: To recognize an organization with historical and exceptional ties to the university, an event or date significant in the university's history, a place with significant meaning for or ties to the university, or a program, activity, function, or symbol pertinent to the life of the university.
  • To recognize benefactors who have made substantial financial contributions to the university. The term “benefactors” includes individuals, corporations, foundations, and other organizations.
  • Efforts to secure private resources for the naming of a new facility, an existing facility, a definable portion of an existing facility, academic program, etc., must be accompanied by a plan for fundraising approved by the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, unless an exception is made by the Chancellor.

The fundraising goal associated with the facility, project or program should be commensurate with the nature of the naming opportunity.

A gift for naming ordinarily should be substantial and significant, even transformative in nature, enabling the program to improve its competitiveness or distinction. Additionally, the gift should be determined by the size, operating budget, national ranking, and visibility of the program, as well as naming amounts of peer programs in the discipline or on the university campus when available.

Financial contributions resulting in a naming will be made to The Winston-Salem State University Foundation, Incorporated and may be transferred to the university based on the recommendation of the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.

Named Gift Procedures

Recommendations are submitted through the Vice Chancellor for Advancement by the dean and the appropriate vice chancellor for endorsement. The recommendation is then submitted to the Chancellor for approval and submission to the Board of Trustees.

Where a naming for a Winston-Salem State University faculty or staff member is proposed to recognize career service, consideration will be given to the individual’s accomplishments in his/her field as well as the uniqueness of the service and contribution to the university.

Honorees may be individuals or corporations. Typically, the honoree will have a significant connection to Winston-Salem State University, as a donor or supporter, student, alumnus, faculty or staff member, or administrator and will have made outstanding contributions to the university or the larger community in education, research, the arts, civic or public life, or other areas consistent with the institutional mission, vision, and values. Honorees should be of such outstanding credentials, reputation, character and distinction that the naming honors Winston-Salem State University as well as the individual or corporation.

Exceptions to these criteria may be appropriate in cases of persons of unusual eminence or singular contributions to Winston-Salem State University as a whole or its larger community.

Named Gift Approval

Recommendations for naming are submitted through the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement by the dean or appropriate vice chancellor for endorsement. The recommendation is then submitted to the Chancellor for approval and submission to the Board of Trustees.

Benefactors or honorees should be informed throughout the naming discussions that final naming approval for all university facilities and programs rests with the Board of Trustees.

Naming shall not detract from the university’s mission, vision, and values and no such action shall create a conflict of interest or confer special privileges. In the event of changed circumstances, WSSU reserves the right, on reasonable grounds, to revise the form of or withdraw recognition, in consultation with the donor whenever possible.

Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy must be authorized by the Board of Trustees, or by the Chancellor if appointed as the board’s designee for this purpose.

Responsibility for Implementation

The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement is responsible for overseeing compliance with these policy requirements, including completing all necessary consultations and approvals and securing signatures on gift agreements by authorized representatives of Winston-Salem State University or the Winston-Salem State University Foundation, Incorporated. To ensure an accurate historical record, the Office of University Advancement shall maintain records relative to all naming agreements completed under this policy.

Each gift must be accompanied by a written gift agreement approved by authorized representatives of the donor, Winston-Salem State University, and the Winston-Salem State University Foundation, Incorporated. The agreements shall be executed following final approval of the gift as specified in this policy.

University signatory authority for these agreements will be determined in accordance with university and/or Foundation signatory authority policies. No naming commitments shall be made to donors or other parties before final approval is granted. Procedures governing approval of gift naming proposals are set forth in this policy and may also be supplemented by associated policies and operational guidelines that University Advancement may adopt.

Naming Opportunities for Capital Projects and Facilities

Generally, facilities shall not be named for members of the administration, faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, Foundation Board, Board of Visitors, Board of Governors, or any elected official or state employee concerned with the function or control of the university, so long as the relationship exists. The Board of Trustees may make exceptions to this rule in unusually meritorious or extraordinary circumstances. Where a naming for a Winston-Salem State University faculty or staff member is proposed to recognize career service, consideration will be given to the individual’s accomplishments in his/her field as well as the uniqueness of the service and contribution to Winston-Salem State University.

At no time should a naming gift require a financial commitment from the university and/or its affiliated entities unless approved by the Vice Chancellor for Advancement, the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration and, where deemed appropriate, the Chancellor.

Naming Opportunities for Buildings

Authority for the naming of facilities rests with the Winston-Salem State University Board of Trustees, subject to policies established by the University Of North Carolina Board Of Governors.

Naming opportunities for buildings may include new facilities that are to be constructed or acquired, existing facilities that are undergoing major or minor renovations, or existing facilities that are not undergoing renovations.

Recommendations are submitted through the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement for endorsement. The recommendation is then submitted to the Chancellor for approval and submission to the Board of Trustees. The Chancellor may assign a temporary name to a new or renovated facility until an official name is selected for that facility in accordance with these procedures.

Appropriate Value

An appropriate value should be established by the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, in consultation with the Chancellor at the time construction or acquisition plans are being developed.

Financial contributions resulting in the naming of a facility will be made to The Winston-Salem State University Foundation, Incorporated but, if the university is constructing or renovating the facility, the funds will be transferred to the university.

Minimum Gift Levels

Gift levels are intended as minimum amounts required to name the respective opportunity. Schools, colleges and programs, in collaboration with University Advancement, are welcome to solicit and accept contributions and endowment gifts over and above the set minimums, and may set higher minimums for specific opportunities. These minimum amounts may be adjusted to reflect market conditions at any time. The history of the building or facility, including its prior uses and occupants, may also be considered.

The gift for naming a facility should equal:

  • At least one-half of the total project cost for constructing or acquiring the new facility; or
  • At least one-half of the total project cost for renovating an existing facility; or
  • At least one-half of the portion of the total project cost that is to be raised from the private sector if State or other funds are funding a portion of the project cost for a new or renovated existing facility; or
  • At least one-half of the replacement cost of an existing facility not undergoing renovation.

Facility Naming Considerations for a Pledge

If a naming will be the result of a total gift pledge to be paid over a period of years or through an irrevocable planned gift, provisions for naming must be clearly articulated in a formal gift agreement.

Pledges to be paid over a period of time are acceptable for current naming of facilities and programs when a signed pledge payment agreement for the total is in hand. If the pledged donation is to name new construction, renovation, or other projects with cash-flow considerations, the timing of the pledge payments should be such that sufficient current dollars are available to cover project costs.

Irrevocable planned gifts may generate current naming of facilities and programs if current cash flow considerations are not an issue for the requesting facility or program. Irrevocable planned gifts will be credited at their face value with particular emphasis being given to the predictability of the long-term value of the irrevocable deferred gift.

Combinations of planned gifts and cash may occasionally generate current naming opportunities. Each combination request must be articulated fully and a case made for the appropriateness of the naming given the specifics of a particular gift. Particular emphasis will be given to the cash flow requirements of the facility or program, and the predictability of receipt of the combined gift.

Pledge Period

All commitments must be paid within five years of the naming, unless an exception is approved by the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement. In the event the pledge is not fulfilled, the naming opportunity may be forfeited.

Naming Opportunities Within a Building

The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, in consultation with the Division of Finance and Administration and appropriate dean or program representative, may identify naming opportunities within a building. In general, sections of a building that have a specific function and are of significant value, such as an auditorium, conference room, special classroom, seminar room, or laboratory may be named independently of the building.

The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement will submit proposals for naming opportunities within a building to the Chancellor for approval. The Chancellor may also consult with, or obtain approval from, the Board of Trustees in the exercise of his/her own discretion, relating to the naming of spaces within a building.

While the desired goal for a naming gift is the cost to provide, equip and maintain the space, the target gift amount for naming will be set for each project in advance of soliciting donors in coordination with the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and the Division of Finance and Administration.

Interior spaces that are part of a total building fundraising campaign should be included in initial planning efforts. Generally the size of a gift required to name a space should be approximately one-half of its construction or renovation cost.

Exterior Spaces

The target gift amount for naming exterior spaces (gardens, courts, plazas, memorials, markers, streets, athletic fields, open spaces, etc.) will be set for each project in advance of soliciting donors in coordination with the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and the Division of Finance and Administration. Exterior spaces that are part of a total building fundraising campaign should be included in initial planning efforts.

Campus Enhancements – General

Proposals for naming opportunities for campus enhancements such as benches, fountains, statues, art work, gardens, etc., will be developed or reviewed by the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and the Division of Finance and Administration for approval.

The Chancellor will make decisions regarding such proposals in consultation with the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. The Chancellor may also consult with, or obtain approval from, the Board of Trustees in the exercise of his/her own discretion.

Minimum funding requirements for campus enhancements will be based on cost, location, structure, and function. Unless otherwise authorized by the Chancellor, gifts must cover the entire cost of the installation and, if significant ongoing costs will be incurred, an endowment sufficient to cover such costs.

Naming Opportunities for Academic Units and Programs

A private gift naming of an academic unit should be at a level that will transform the nature of the unit involved, enabling the unit to achieve and sustain a margin of excellence. Eligible academic units include, but are not limited to, the Schools, the College, departments, programs, and centers and institutes.

The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement will first obtain from the Provost authorization to solicit or respond favorably to a gift-naming proposal relating to an academic unit or program. If approval is granted, the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and the Provost will submit the proposed gift to the Chancellor, who will then submit the proposed gift to the Board of Trustees. Once the Board of Trustees approves the proposal, authorized representatives of the donor, WSSU and the Foundation shall execute a gift agreement.

Naming Opportunities for Endowed Chair/Professorships

The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement will first obtain authorization from the Provost to solicit or respond favorably to a gift-naming proposal relating to the naming of an endowed chair/professorship. The Provost may also consult with, or obtain approval from, the Chancellor in the exercise of his/her own discretion.

Criteria for naming endowed chairs/professorships should include, but not be limited to, the following considerations:

  • That the selection and appointment procedures followed be fully consistent with the institution’s tenure policies and regulations and other applicable personnel policies;
  • That the distinguished professor shall be appointed at the rank of full professor;
  • That the academic discipline to which the distinguished professor is appointed shall be one of major importance to the educational program of the institution; and
  • That the person appointed shall have a record of outstanding accomplishment in that discipline or field as a teacher and scholar or practitioner.
  • The endowed chair designation will be linked to faculty positions filled by outstanding scholars and teachers, as judged by rigorous, nationally- accepted standards.
  • Once the proposal is approved, authorized representatives of the donor, the university and the Foundation will execute a gift agreement.

Naming opportunities for Lectureships

A named lectureship brings to the university a variety of outstanding individuals of broad experience and expertise whose presentations will have university-wide and interdisciplinary appeal. Earnings from the endowed fund will provide for honoraria, travel expenses, and other costs associated with presenting such speakers.

Regarding opportunities described herein, the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement will first obtain authorization from the Provost to solicit or respond favorably to a gift-naming proposal relating to endowing a named lectureship. The Provost may also consult with, or obtain approval from, the Chancellor in the exercise of his/her own discretion. If approval is granted, authorized representatives of the donor, the University and the Foundation will execute a gift agreement.

Naming of Excellence Funds

A fund for excellence may be established in support of a school, the College, a department, academic unit, library, gallery or other university program of interest to the donor. Earnings from these endowments may be used to enhance the selected endeavor in a variety of ways, including support for research, faculty development, travel, or for other enrichment activities.

Funds designated for teaching, service, research, and staff awards will be used to recognize outstanding performance in classroom teaching, research, or service by faculty, professional, or support staff members in the specified academic unit or university operation. Criteria for eligibility for such awards may be established in consultation with the donor. The Schools, College, or other relevant units typically will choose award recipients.

Regarding opportunities described in this section and proposals not otherwise expressly covered in this policy, the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement will seek approval from the Chancellor or his/her designee. The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement shall consult with the appropriate university and/or Foundation personnel to determine the minimum endowment necessary to sustain the chosen objective. Once final approval is obtained, authorized representatives of the donor, the university and the Foundation will execute a gift agreement.

Program Support Endowments

Funds may be given to support specific or general programs of Winston-Salem State University or of a particular unit or department. Such program support endowments can provide funding for areas such as faculty, staff, students, operations, research, etc. Naming opportunities will be offered by the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement in consultation with the appropriate Vice Chancellor, Dean, Department Chair, or Program Director.

Naming Opportunities for Endowed Scholarships and Fellowships

Scholarships provide important financial assistance to talented and deserving undergraduate students. Criteria for eligibility for scholarships may be established in consultation with the donor.

Fellowships are a form of educational assistance typically reserved for graduate students. Awards will provide full or partial support that will enable deserving students to complete their graduate degree at Winston-Salem State University. Criteria for eligibility for such fellowships may be established in consultation with the donor.

Named fellowships and scholarships may be established upon approval of the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement in consultation with the Provost, appropriate Dean(s) and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management. If approval is granted, a gift agreement shall be executed by authorized representatives of the donor, the University and/or the Foundation.

Scholarships and fellowships are awarded by the Office of Financial Aid in consultation with the academic department.

Other Naming Opportunities

Regarding academic opportunities not described and proposals not otherwise expressly covered in this policy, the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement will seek approval from the Provost or his/her designee. The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement will consult with the appropriate campus representatives to determine the minimum endowment necessary to sustain the chosen objective. Once final approval is obtained, authorized representatives of the donor, the university, and the Foundation will execute a gift agreement.

Academic Area Naming Considerations for a Pledge

Endowed funds established for academic support that do not reach the minimum funding level in accordance with the time period designated in the fund agreement may be terminated and the dollars given expended for a purpose consistent with the original intent specified by the donor, at the university’s discretion, or the funds may be transferred to a general endowment fund, at the university’s discretion. Scholarship and fellowship funds that do not reach the minimum endowment level within a three-year period may be transferred to the General Scholarships Fund.

Pledge Period

All commitments must be paid within five years of the naming, unless an exception is approved by the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement. In the event the pledge is not fulfilled, the naming opportunity may be for University Advancement. In the event the pledge is not fulfilled, the naming opportunity may be forfeited.

Duration and Modifications of Namings

A proposal to rename a facility or area shall adhere to the Winston-Salem State University Philanthropic Naming and Endowment Policies and Procedures outlined above. In the event modifications to named properties are required or recommended, the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement shall involve General Counsel, the Provost, the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, and other appropriate university personnel in early planning. This is to insure that the original purpose of the naming and the donor’s wishes are preserved, as appropriate. In addition, these principles shall be followed:

  • Any proposal to rename a facility or area in recognition of a gift shall be reviewed by the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement. The review shall include any gift agreements or documentation pertaining to the original gift and related naming, as well as gift agreements or documentation pertaining to the subsequent gift and proposed renaming.
  • When a facility that has been named in recognition of a gift or an individual has reached the end of its useful life and will be replaced or substantially renovated, the replaced or renovated facility or area may be named in recognition of another gift.
  • When an area named in recognition of a gift or in honor of an individual will be developed for another use, the new facility may be named in recognition of a new gift.
  • Appropriate recognition of earlier donors and honorees may be included in or adjacent to new and renovated facilities, as well as in redeveloped areas.
  • When a facility or area is proposed for renaming, university representatives shall make all reasonable efforts to inform, in advance, the original donors or honorees and their immediate family members.

Unless a naming is granted for a pre-determined, fixed term, the duration of a benefactor’s or honoree’s name on any facility or program ordinarily continues for as long as the facility or program is used in the same manner or for the same purpose for which the naming occurred. Upon demolition, replacement, substantial renovation, redesignation of purpose, or similar modification of a named facility or program, the university may deem that the naming period has concluded.

The appropriate university representative will make all reasonable efforts to inform in advance the original benefactors or honorees or their surviving family members when the naming period is deemed to have concluded.

Winston-Salem State University may, but is not required to, provide for the appropriate perpetuation of the previous name. Perpetuation of the original name in an equivalent naming is not required. Appropriate perpetuation of previous names may include, for instance, a plaque in or adjacent to new and renovated facilities.

Term Naming

In appropriate instances, most often involving a corporate benefactor, a naming may be granted for a pre-determined fixed term. At the end of the term, the name of the facility or program shall expire but may be renewed with the same or a new name. The facility naming agreement should clearly specify the period of time for which the facility or program will be named.

Benefactor or Honoree Name Changes

If a benefactor or honoree requests a change to the name of a facility or program (e.g., due to a corporate merger or acquisition), the university will consider the request. If approved, all replacement signage and other related costs shall be at the expense of the donor or honoree.

Revocation of Naming Approval or Conferral

In certain circumstances, Winston-Salem State University reserves the right, on reasonable grounds, to revoke and terminate its obligations regarding a naming, with no responsibility for returning any received financial contributions to the benefactor. These actions, and the circumstances that prompt them, may apply to an approved naming that has not yet been acted upon or to a conferred naming.

If the benefactor’s or honoree’s reputation changes substantially so that the continued use of that name may compromise the public trust, dishonor the university’s standards, or otherwise be contrary to the best interests of the university, the naming may be revoked.

However, caution must be taken when, with the passage of time, the standards and achievements deemed to justify a naming action may change and observers of a later age may deem those who conferred a naming honor at an earlier age to have erred. Namings should not be altered simply because later observers would have made different judgments.

If the benefactor fails to maintain payments on a pledge upon which the naming was bestowed, the naming may be revoked after a pro rata period of time that reflects the number of pledge payments made, given the estimated useful life of the building or the term of years covered by the facility naming agreement, as applicable.

If a planned gift upon which the naming was bestowed does not result in the value agreed upon, the naming may be revoked.

#.    Roles and Responsibilities

Review

This policy shall be reviewed periodically by the Office of University Advancement with all recommended changes requiring approval by the Chancellor and Board of Trustees.

#.     Applicability

This policy applies to all schools, colleges, units, and programs of Winston-Salem State University. The policy also applies to The Simon Green Atkins Community Development Corporation (CDC), The Winston-Salem State University Foundation, Incorporated, and all future affiliated entities of WSSU.


Responsible Division: Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

Authority: Board of Trustees

History:

  • Adopted September 17, 2015