Twenty-five years ago, the Washington State University Foundation ended its inaugural year with just over $4.3 million in gifts and grants. Today, the WSU Foundation kicks off its 25th anniversary year by announcing that gifts and private grants for 2003-04 totaled $44,780,138, the fourth largest year in foundation history. Donors made future pledges of an additional $1,453,584.

For the third consecutive year, the President’s Associates — made up of individuals and organizations making annual gifts of $1,000 or more — set a record with 4,789 members, an increase of more than five percent over the previous year.

The WSU Foundation’s endowment finished the year at $204.6 million, an increase of nearly $13 million over the previous year’s total. At the same time, WSU added 28 endowed scholarships, two endowed graduate fellowships and three endowed professorships and chairs.

During the past 25 years, the WSU Foundation has raised more than $720 million for the benefit of WSU students, faculty and programs. WSU’s scholarship endowment was less than $10 million when the WSU Foundation was created but now tops $74.5 million, providing assistance to more than 4,000 deserving students each year. From just a handful of graduate fellowships 25 years ago, WSU now has 127 named endowments benefiting graduate students. Likewise, endowed professorships and chairs have grown from fewer than five to 119 at the end of fiscal year 2003-2004.

Last weekend, the 25th annual meeting of the WSU Foundation brought more than 225 members of the WSU Foundation Board of Governors and Board of Trustees to Pullman.

“More than 49,000 individuals and organizations supported Washington State University last year through the work of the WSU Foundation,” said foundation president Rick Frisch. “We are enormously grateful for the breadth and depth of support from alumni, friends, companies and individuals.”