PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University will complete the funding of two
endowed chairs and eight graduate fellowships with matching funds from the state of
Washington. As part of annual state matching allocations signed into law in 1998, the funds
match private contributions of $250,000 for professorships and chairs and $25,000 for graduate
Chairs that each received $250,000 matches were the Gary P. Brinson Endowed Chair in
Investment Management and the Marian E. Smith Presidential Endowed Chair. By providing
increased funding for teaching and research in faculty positions, endowed chairs enable WSU
and other universities to recruit and retain outstanding teachers and scholars.
“The state matching program is the public-private partnership at its very best,” said WSU
President Samuel Smith. “When the state can, in essence, double a private donor’s investment in
outstanding faculty and students, everyone served by higher education is a winner.”
The Brinson chair endowment is valued at more than $2 million. It funds the work of finance
professor John Kling, who specializes in investment strategies utilizing behavioral finance. The
chair was funded in 1993 by Gary Brinson and Brinson Partners, Inc. Brinson received a master’s
degree in business administration at WSU in 1968.
The Smith chair endowment reached $1 million in 1999. President Smith will appoint a
chairholder later this year after consulting with WSU’s academic leadership. The chair was
initiated in 1996 by Marian Smith, a Cougar grandmother (no relation to President Smith).
Graduate fellowships receiving $25,000 matches were the Robert MacDonald Graduate
Fellowship in Vegetable Seed Science, the Boeing Graduate Fellowships in Environmental
Sciences and Environmental Studies, the Bracken Family Fellowship in Cancer Research, the
Daniel and Patricia Nelson Fellowship in Small Business Enterprises, the J. De Weerd Memorial
Fellowship for Excellence in Potato Research, the R.V. Subramanian Graduate Fellowship in
Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and the Robert W. and Eleanor M. Bucklin Archival
The 1998 legislation called for annual distributions from the state education savings account
to the state’s public universities and colleges to match private contributions for distinguished
professorships and graduate fellowships.
Distinguished professorships are established with gifts of $250,000 or more; graduate
fellowships with gifts of $25,000 or more. Under the legislation, the state appropriates 10 percent
of the education savings account each year to match each $250,000 and $25,000 contribution, as
well as contributions to the faculty awards trust fund for community colleges.
As a result of a surge in private giving to WSU over the past 10 years, WSU now has more
than 96 distinguished professorships eligible for state matching funds. Of those 96, 19 have
received state matches to date. Private contributions to WSU for fiscal year 1998-1999, which
ends June 30, are expected to surpass $37 million.