Light the Way Logo

Winona State University celebrates the successful completion of its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Light the Way Leadership Campaign.

The Light the Way campaign exceeded its goal of raising $10 million to fund scholarships, build an Integrated Wellness Complex and secure the future of the National Child Protection Training Center. During the campaign:

  • More than $14.5 million was contributed by 13,300-plus donors.
  • Close to 200 new scholarships were established, providing access to higher education for current and future WSU students.
  • Construction on the 90,000-square-foot Integrated Wellness Complex (IWC) was completed, expanding opportunities for WSU students and the community at large to improve health and well-being.
  • In 2011 alone, more than 14,200 child protection professionals were trained by the National Child Protection Training Center (NCPTC), furthering the center’s goal to end child abuse in the U.S. within three generations.

WSU President Judith Ramaley said, “As we celebrate the successful completion of our Light the Way campaign, we are deeply grateful for the generosity of everyone who has helped to light the way for those who will follow us. Together we embody what it means to be a community of learners improving our world. I am proud of what we have accomplished, and I thank the many people who have made our shared dreams come true.”

For WSU student and scholarship recipient Christina Flaherty, being a true member of the community of learners was important. Flaherty, a vocal music education student from Cottage Grove, Wis., has pursued numerous leadership and service opportunities at the university, and also volunteers at an after school program and for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Winona.

“Having been helped so much along the way, I don’t take my responsibility lightly to be a good steward with the opportunity I’ve been given,” said Flaherty, who looks forward to a career as choir teacher. “When I graduate, I look forward to carrying on the tradition of giving to the community in any way that I can.”

Community outreach has also been a big part of the expanded academic and research programs in the state-of-the-art Integrated Wellness Complex (IWC), according to Teresa Lee, director of WSU’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention Program.

The Cardiac Rehab program, which is free and open to the community, provides support and education to people at risk for cardiac or pulmonary diseases. Lee and her students, all seniors in the Health, Exercise and Rehabilitative Sciences program, work closely with area medical providers to assist participants with prevention and rehabilitation. The university program has existed for more than 20 years but has seen a 66 percent increase in patients thanks to its new facility at the IWC, said Lee.

“Approximately every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and approximately every minute, someone will die of one,” said Lee. “Our program provides the tools people need to stay active as well as the education they need to control their risk factors.”

Education is also the key to preventing child abuse, according to Assistant Winona County Attorney Christina Davenport. The more resources directed toward assisting child protection professionals, the better, said Davenport, who participated in NCPTC’s ChildFirst forensic interviewing training program in November 2011.

“It’s important for people to support the National Child Protection Training Center because of the invaluable service that they provide,” said Davenport. “The knowledge and the resources [they provide] are so incredibly important to advancing child protection issues. It’s more than just education. It’s about making an impact in the community, across the country, and I believe also the world to really help protect children who aren’t able to protect themselves.”

About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive, regional public university with nearly 8,900 students. The oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, WSU offers more than 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate and doctorate programs on its three campuses in Winona and Rochester. WSU ranks as the second public institution in Minnesota in the 2012 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” has been named among the “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review for the eighth consecutive year, and has been featured as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for quality and value for 16 years in a row. The university’s mission is to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural and economic vitality of the people and communities we serve: a community of learners improving our world. For more information, visit:

Light the Way By the Numbers

  • The public phase of the Light the Way (LTW) campaign launched in August 2008. By the campaign’s close in April 2012, more than 13,300 donors gave $14,522,570 to the Light the Way campaign.
    • 7,102 Winona State alumni gave to the LTW campaign, contributing more than 19,493 gifts.
    • 1,981 LTW campaign donors are from the Winona area.
    • 22 local corporations made major gifts to the IWC.
    • 704 Winona State faculty, staff and retirees donated to the campaign.
  • 195 new scholarships were established during the campaign.
    • More than 2,000 donors contributed to scholarships for WSU students during the campaign.
    • The average gift amount for the scholarships is $2,270.
    • More than 100 of these scholarships are endowed funds that will remain in perpetuity, awarding $200,000-plus in scholarships each year.
  • The Integrated Wellness Complex opened its doors in 2010 and has fast become a bustling epicenter of health and wellness.
    • Fitness Center:
      • 2,000 visits per day (up from 800, pre-IWC)
      • New personal training service
    • Intramurals:
      • 24 classes offered each week, including Yoga, Boot Camp, Zumba, and Tai Chi
      • 100 additional hours per week open recreation time, compared to pre-IWC availability
    • Counseling Services:
      • 43 percent increase in client visits, including extension of services to Southeast Technical College
    • Health Services:
      • 108 percent increase in Healthy Mondays participation
      • 15 new student peer health-advocacy roles
      • 2 new programs: Warriors Weigh weight support program, and Well Café nutrition program
    • Academics:
      • 50 credit-based classes offered to approximately 1,750 students in the IWC per week
    • Partnerships:
      • More than a dozen community partnerships, including Parkview Pharmacy and Winona Health
    • Student Experience:
      • 150 students work each semester at the IWC, providing everything from fitness instruction to cardiac rehabilitation

Winona State University has been home to The National Child Protection Training Center (NCPTC) since its inception in 2003.

  • NCPTC provides training for child protection professionals – ranging from police officers to prosecutors, social workers and nurses – on child-abuse prevention, detection and investigation, preparing front line professionals on how to recognize, react and respond to children who are being abused.
    • NCPTC has trained child protection professionals in all 50 U.S. states.
      • Number trained in 2010:  14,816 professionals
      • Number trained in 2011:  14,273 professionals
    • Administered and hosted 42 total webinar trainings
      • These monthly trainings are accessible to anyone.
      • To date, NCPTC’s webinars have trained 1,340 professionals.
    • Webcasts
      • NCPTC has hosted six child abuse prevention-focused webcasts.
    • CAST Child Advocacy Studies curriculum
      • Implemented as certificate program, minor, graduate program or major in 23 colleges & universities in 25 U.S. states, including Washington D.C.
      • There are 52 colleges total who have implemented or are in the process of implementing this curriculum.
    • ChildFirst program – Forensic Interviewers
      • 18 total U.S. states have become CF certified in the protocol.
      • 40 state/local government employees are part of CF as Coordinators or Faculty.
      • The program is available internationally in Japan and Columbia.
    • NCPTC Training Conferences
      • To date, NCPTC has hosted 41 training conferences.
      • In 2011, NCPTC trained 1,769 professionals via NCPTC-hosted training events and webinars.
      • In 2010, NCPTC trained 1,653 professionals via NCPTC-hosted training events and webinars.
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Abby Peschges

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