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WGU Advancement March 2022 Bulletin

Women's History Month

Did you know about two-thirds of WGU’s current students are women and in our 25-year history, more than 183,000 female graduates have received a degree from WGU? When donors like you support WGU, you directly impact resilient women making a difference for their families and communities. 

As Women’s History Month comes to an end, our President, Annalisa Holcombe, is celebrating the impact of women and the ways in which WGU is well positioned, through our competency-based learning model and scholarships, to help women achieve their leadership dreams.

Visit her LinkedIn article to learn more.


Annalisa Holcombe headshot Annalisa Holcombe, President, WGU Advancement

Donor Spotlight: GrandMasters

GrandMasters has been providing services to WGU as a dedicated partner for more than seven years. Located near Seattle, Washington, GrandMasters is a woman-owned business that collaborates with Fortune 500 companies, government institutions, and prominent colleges and universities. Through hard work and passion, GrandMasters is a global company that helps organizations develop customized training programs, skills assessments, content, and shape their learning and development ecosystem.

Thanks to the generosity of GrandMasters, WGU recently announced the GrandMasters Scholarship Fund is now open for applications to students in the College of IT. Lisa Kreissler, founder and owner of GrandMasters expressed, “GrandMasters has a deep appreciation for WGU’s competency-based model and industry-informed curriculum. We are happy to support equitable access for WGU students and the economic empowerment that a college education offers, especially within technology careers.”

Ashutosh Tiwary, WGU’s Senior Vice President, College of IT expressed appreciation and said, “WGU's College of IT is grateful to GrandMasters for this generous donation. This will make a huge difference by increasing opportunities for access to education for more students."

New and current students pursuing undergraduate programs in WGU’s College of IT who have demonstrated financial need are encouraged to apply. Please visit the GrandMasters Scholarship Fund page at for additional information. 

WGU Giving Day: Night Owls Unite

WGU Giving Day is right around the corner on April 21, 2022! This year, Night Owls will unite for 25-hours in honor of WGU’s 25th anniversary. WGU Giving Day is not only a day to give back, but also a day to reflect on how far we’ve come as an institution and celebrate WGU’s impact across the country!

During WGU’s inaugural Giving Day last year, more than $86,000 was raised for eight scholarship and emergency aid funds. We hope you join us again this year as we raise the bar to collect $100,000 for the same eight funds that help students achieve their dreams. At WGU, the average scholarship award is $2,400 per student. By harnessing the power of our Night Owl community in just 25-hours for WGU Giving Day, we can positively impact the lives of at least 41 students and thus their families, communities, and future generations for years to come.

Learn more about WGU Giving Day and make your gift early by visiting

WGU Giving Day Night Owls Unite April 21, 2022

A Tradition of Breaking Tradition

WGU was founded in 1997 by 19 bi-partisan governors who knew that the college student of the 21st century would have very different needs from students in the past. For millions of working adults, the dream of pursuing a college education could only become a reality once the boundaries of time and place could be removed. Now, thanks to the power of the internet and an innovative competency-based learning model, WGU has become one of the largest universities in the country that proudly recognizes over 265,000 alumni in all 50 states and around the world.

The WGU Advancement team kicked off a year full of 25th anniversary events in January in New York City. And celebrations continued in Texas in February as more than 1,100 recent graduates traveled to Dallas for the first commencement of the year. WGU Advancement hosted a reception to commemorate WGU’s 25th anniversary and reflect on our commitment to reinvent higher education so every individual can have pathways to opportunity. Then in March, members of the team connected with an intimate group of dedicated Night Owls in the Silicon Valley area of California.

Attendees at these special events consisted of WGU students, staff, faculty, alumni, and valued partners. We look forward to continuing the celebration of WGU’s 25th anniversary milestone throughout the rest of 2022!


Group shot of four WGU alumni and WGU leaders at restaurant WGU leaders and alumni in New York City
WGU Advancement Regional Director Heather Marsh (middle) with US District Judge for Texas Sean Jordan (right) and his wife, Ana (left) WGU Advancement Regional Director Heather Marsh (middle) with US District Judge for Texas Sean Jordan and his wife Ana in Texas
WGU leaders and alumni in Palo Alto, California WGU leaders, staff, and alumni in Palo Alto, California

Donor Impact: the WGU Employees Give Back Scholarship

Since launching the WGU Employees Give Back Scholarship Fund in 2018, more than 115 students have been awarded over $126,000 thanks to hundreds of generous WGU faculty and staff members across the country.

One of these students, Michael, unexpectedly lost his job within the first year of his degree program. The loss of income, combined with additional financial aid stress, left Michael unable to continue his studies. Thankfully, after receiving a WGU Employees Give Back Scholarship award, Michael was able to get back on track and re-secured employment shortly after. Because of the generosity from WGU's employee donors, Michael says he is now "on a trajectory to really do great things."

Every month, hundreds of faculty and staff members contribute to the WGU Employees Give Back Scholarship fund through automated payroll contributions and hundreds more donate through other initiatives like Giving Tuesday and WGU Giving Day. We are grateful for the dedicated faculty and staff members at WGU who put their all into their work on behalf of students and especially grateful for those who pay it forward to directly impact the lives of Night Owls in need. 


WGU Advancement News


WGU Receives $4.9M Grant to Help Close Educational Gaps for Underserved Populations

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Logo

The R&D for Growth & Equity grant provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is designed to help close the access and attainment gap for Black, Latinx and Indigenous learners across the country. The grant allows WGU to better understand the unique journeys that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous learners experience while enrolled at WGU. 


WGU Northeast Employees Give to Support Our Students

WGU logo

As a way to help reduce economic hardships for our students, many colleagues donate to need-based scholarships, like the WGU Employees Give Back Scholarship and the WGU Student Emergency Aid Fund. In fact, 74% of all charitable gifts received by WGU Advancement in 2020 came from WGU employees.

Follow the link below to read inspirational stories about WGU Northeast Night Owls giving back.


WGU Receives $4.8M Grant to Develop and Lead Character Education Curriculum

WGU logo

WGU received a $4.8 million grant from The Kern Family Foundation. With the grant, WGU can integrate character education into two graduate degree programs within WGU’s Teachers College and create the Character Education Profession Learning Program (CEPL), to be housed in the Center for Professional Learning at the Teachers College. 

WGU Advancement Bulletins

Catch up on what you missed by viewing previous Bulletins. 

December 2021

September 2021

June 2021

March 2021

December 2020

October 2020

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