Donor Recognition

Thank you for the opportunity to learn, grow, and dream. Winona State University values and cherishes the generosity of your donations.

Every gift to the University is used to ignite the positive progress of our campus. We promise to respect and honor your donations and use them to further WSU’s mission.

You make our mission possible, and for that, we thank you.

Annual Impact Report

View the WSU Foundation Annual Impact Report (PDF) to see what your donations to WSU funded this year.

Medallion Society

The Medallion Society recognizes donors for their cumulative giving across their lifetimes.

The WSU Foundation established the Medallion Society in 2012 as an expansion of the Cornerstone Society to recognize donors with cumulative giving of $25,000 or more.

The President’s Medallion itself carries the spirit of philanthropy. The medallion was a gift from WSU students in 1968 in honor of President Robert DuFresne’s inauguration. The gems in the medallion were donated by members of the Winona community. 

The medallion is said to represent:

  • the people’s faith in education
  • a responsibility for the university’s mission
  • guardianship on behalf of the State of Minnesota and future generations 

The Medallion Society is prominently displayed outside the entrance of Somsen Auditorium and recognizes giving levels by aligning each with a gem represented in the actual medallion.

Medallion Society Members

Giving Levels

The very foundation of WSU was built on philanthropy in the mid-1850s under the campaign leadership of Dr. John Ford, an advocate for public education. Dr. Ford swiftly raised more than $7,000 in cash and land. 

The gifts obtained were at all levels, much like the new Medallion Society. This society showcases past tradition and honors the leaders who continue to make Winona State’s mission possible.

Gold | $25,000

Donated by the 1967-68 students of Winona State College

Aquamarine | $50,000

Stone donated by Mrs. James Browning

Topaz | $100,000

Stone donated by Mrs. Ward Lucas

Alexandrite | $250,000

Stone donated by Dr. John J. Fuller

Garnet | $500,000

Stone donated by Allyn S. Morgan, Jr.

Opal | $1 million

Stone donated by Miss Floretta M. Murray

Diamond | $5 million

Stone donated by Mrs. R. H. Watkins

Medallion | $10 million
1858 Legacy Society

1858 Legacy Society recognizes those who have included Winona State in their estate plans.

Enacted by the Minnesota Legislature in 1858, Winona State Normal School became the first teacher training institution west of the Mississippi. The governor of Minnesota at that time stressed the importance of education in providing for the leaders of tomorrow. 

The name of the institution has changed several times as it has grown to maturity. But nearly 150 years later, its philosophy of providing a quality education for its graduates and providing qualified leaders for tomorrow has remained a tradition. 

The founding of this fine institution is now the fitting symbol for Winona State University’s deferred giving group, the 1858 Legacy Society. 

The 1858 Legacy Society honors a special group of friends who have provided for WSU in their estate plans. A bequest or other deferred gift of any size brings membership in the very special recognition society.

If you would like more information about the 1858 Legacy Society or ways to include WSU in your estate plan, contact Jon Olson at or 507.457.5020. You can also learn more about planned giving options.

If you believe that you already qualify for membership, we invite you to complete the 1858 Legacy Society form (PDF) and mail it to:

WSU Foundation
Somsen 204
PO Box 5838
Winona, MN 55987

Contact the Foundation Office 
WSU Foundation
Somsen Hall 204

PO Box 5838
Winona, MN 55987


Email the Foundation Office
Phil Sonnenberg
Director of University Advancement Finance, WSU Foundation Controller


Email Phil Sonnenberg