As vice president for development for WOSC, Duffy is in the position to make sure the college is around long after he has retired. And he has done so by creating the Partners in Education Excellence. In conjunction with the state regents, the WOSC foundation has raised more than a million dollars that will go to furthering the education of Western students.
"This type of work is the most rewarding thing I have ever done," Duffy said. "The work I do today takes care of tomorrow."
Partners in Education Excellence is an endowment program designed to enhance the quality of higher education in Oklahoma. It works by providing state funds as a match for private donations.
Since 1999, Western has raised $500,000. Every donation is automatically matched by the state regents. The money raised by WOSC is put into the foundation's account and the state regents' money goes into a trust fund. It is the interest from each account that will fund school each year.
"The trust fund principal will remain intact, and earnings from investment of the principal will be allocated to Western Oklahoma State College," Duffy said. "The interest becomes the operation fund."
The donors can decide which program they want the money to benefit. But according to Duffy, whether it's the math department, athletics or arts, the entire college will reap the rewards.
There are three levels of endowments donators can join. A minimum contribution of $25,000 will support lectureships and artists in residence, $125,000 is for distinguished professorships, and $250,000 supports endowed chairs.
"The levels indicated for each category are the amounts of private donations required to establish an account," Duffy said. "Upon approval by the state regents, the private donation will be matched dollar for dollar with public funds in the Endowment Trust Fund."
Those who have donated to the foundation include Jeff and Kim Wilmes (business), Jack and Jewell Walker (aviation), Jackson County Memorial Hospital (nursing, radiological technology) and the Chesser Family (arts and history). Every person or group that donates to the Partners in Education Excellence will have a plaque in their name put on display.
The WOSC Foundation has $6 million in total assets in its account. That's a far cry from the $500,000 that was present when Duffy took over the fund-raising duties in 1991.
Duffy said his goal is to raise the Partners in Education Excellence portion of the foundation to $4 million by itself.
"For a small college in Southwest Oklahoma, we can be proud of our constituents for the way they have supported the college," Duffy said. "Our goal is to create a partnership between the community, WOSC and the state of Oklahoma."