Tom Hanks joins Wright State in $150 Million fundraiser

Hundreds celebrate the announcement of $150 million fundraising project, after Tom Hanks partners with university. (WDTN- Beairshelle Edmé)

FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – A major fundraiser, Rise Shine, at Wright State University has gained a Hollywood star to join their campaign.

The campaign is looking to raise $150 million for the university and it’s well on its way with major donations.

And organizers are reaching that goal with a major partnership with Academy Award-winning actor, Tom Hanks.

Dressed to impress, Saturday, supporters of Wright State University polished up and headed to the Nutter Center to help a major campaign.

Already,  the university has raised more than $100 million in hopes of elevating the school’s reputation, building on their scholarship program and attracting even more accomplished faculty members.

It’s the type of project that Amanda Wright Lane says her great grand uncles would have wanted.

“The Wright brothers parents were very much into education and they believed in really broad and innovative thinking,” explained their great grand-niece, a co-chair of the event. “So a university to be named for them is just a perfect match. I think Wright State is stepping ahead now in the role it has played. It’s been thought of as a young university, but no more.”

Wright Lane and her fellow co-chairs are counting on superstar Tom Hanks to help spread the university’s accomplishments with the major fundraiser.

Similar to a video message he delivered several years ago, Hank addressed the crowd Saturday via video talking about the future of Wright State, something President David Hopkins is eager to build.

“What’s wonderful about it is he’s (Hanks) had a relationship with Wright State for almost 10 years and providing scholarships for our students in the motion picture industry,” said President Hopkins. “It means so much to us because this is a young university. Our time has arrived and he will show the world that we can shine here at Wright State.”

President Hopkins says he’s looking forward to growing the fund in the next several weeks.

But the most important purpose, he says, is to help students be successful.

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