PULLMAN, Wash. — A record 66,271 donors contributed $42,036,918 in private gifts and grants to Washington State University during the 1997-1998 fiscal year.
The gifts support student scholarships and fellowships, faculty recruitment and retention, learning technology, statewide education and other academic programs. The fiscal year ended June 30. An additional $1,760,065 was pledged.
“Private contributions are the catalyst for promoting excellence in scholarship and service at the University,” said President Smith. “They enable WSU students and faculty to push themselves and their work to new levels of academic achievement and service.”
The more than $42 million shattered the WSU Foundation’s $33 million goal for the year. The Foundation, established in 1979, is the fund-raising arm of the University.
The record number of donors raised WSU’s annual participation rate from 27 percent to 29.4 percent, one of the highest in the nation for public universities and nearly triple the national average.
WSU Foundation volunteers and staff credited WSU’s highly regarded academic programs, the Rose Bowl, the ethic of generosity spawned by the successful Campaign WSU, an improved direct mail and telemarketing effort, and a number of donors making decisions about estate gifts with pushing the University to a new level of philanthropy.
“Cougars everywhere are committed to ensuring that WSU continues to be the finest land-grant University in the country,” said Chris Marker ’66, chair of the WSU Foundation. “They are also extremely generous, and this record demonstrates the dedication of WSU alumni and friends.”
The success marks a nationwide trend in increased private giving to colleges and universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported June 15 that giving climbed at the fastest rate in a decade in fiscal year 1997, 12.2 percent more than in the year before.
At WSU, contributions to Cougar Athletics increased by 25 percent from the previous year, totaling $4,346,299. Nearly every campus program also experienced a significant increase in contributions and participation, and donations to the College of Veterinary Medicine nearly tripled, totaling $3,316,580.

Gifts included:

The largest individual gift for minority teacher education ever offered in the Pacific Northwest from Seattle businessman, philanthropist and Washington State University Regent Ken Alhadeff. He guaranteed scholarship support totaling approximately $500,000 to the students who participated in the spring 1998 Future Teachers of Color (FTOC) recruitment event at the WSU Pullman campus. To a banquet audience of 70 high school juniors and seniors and 23 WSU students interested in becoming classroom teachers, Alhadeff pledged support that could total $6,000 per student if they complete their college education and become certified teachers.

A $500,000 grant from The Paul G. Allen Virtual Education Foundation to create a process for developing online courses. The grant was the first awarded by the new foundation and will make Internet-based instruction more “teaching-friendly.” The goal is to pilot prototype Economics 101 and 102 classes by fall and officially enroll students by the year 2000.

A $500,000 scholarship endowment for students in the College of Agriculture and Home Economcis from Ernest and Stanley Berg of Omak. Half of the scholarships will be awarded to animal sciences majors, the remainder to other students in college. First consideration will be given to high school graduates from Okanogan County.

A $323,000 partnership agreement between the Casey Family Program and WSU to provide both a “real” camp experience followed by a year-long “virtual camp” for Casey youth. The teenagers are attending two-week sessions at Camp Roger C. Larson, an outdoor facility managed by WSU’s College of Education on Lake Coeur d’Alene. They will learn technology skills, and use them throughout the year to develop their individual interests, stay in touch with their fellow campers and work with WSU graduate student mentors. The Casey Family Program provides long-term foster care for 1500 children in 13 states.

A $300,000 scholarship endowment from alumni Dale and Olive Mae Dibble, formerly of Winthrop. The couple graduated from Winthrop High School in 1939, now known as Liberty Bell High School. The endowment will give first consideration to incoming students from Liberty Bell High School.

An anonymous gift of $1 million to create an endowed chair in tree fruit teaching and research as part of partnership between WSU and Wenatchee Valley College. The interest income will help support Kent Mullinix, director of the WVC tree fruit program and teacher of pomology, whose position is shared between WVC and WSU and the establishment of a WSU baccalaureate degree program in tree-fruit management based at Wenatchee.

Two charitable remainder unitrusts, a $700,000 trust to support emerging disease research and a $400,000 trust to be divided to support a graduate student in emerging disease research, the College of Veterinary Medicine library, and Cougar Athletics from Ralph Fowler. The 85-year-old cattle rancher and businessman attributed his business success to the help he received from WSU extension agents and WSU alumni who provided his cattle with veterinary care. Through his will, Fowler also established a scholarship in Food Animal Medicine for students pursuing a degree in large animal veterinary medicine. The scholarship will be awarded to students who display proficiency and genuine commitment to food animal medicine.