PULLMAN — WSU ended fiscal year 2008 with a 56 percent increase in private fundraising activity over the previous fiscal year. The university reached its highest mark in the WSU Foundation’s 29-year history with $143,692,185 in gifts, grants, pledges and revocable commitments during fiscal year 2008, which ended June 30.

“This is truly a significant milestone for the university and we are indebted to all of our generous alums, friends, foundations, corporations, faculty, staff and other supporters and benefactors,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “This is a fabulous year as Washington State University continues to ramp up its fund-raising efforts in the years ahead.”

The results represent an increase of more than $50 million over the previous highest year, $92 million in 2007.

The WSU Foundation attributes its success in fiscal year 2008 to a number of factors.

“The university has seen a tremendous period of growth and quality in recent years,” said Brenda Wilson-Hale, vice president for university development and chief executive officer of the WSU Foundation. “Our generous alumni, friends and corporate partners recognize this and have been exceptionally supportive of WSU, its direction and its leadership. The WSU Foundation staff has also performed admirably, working hard to achieve this unprecedented fund-raising success. We are excited about where the university and the WSU Foundation are headed in the years to

Brenda Wilson-Hale, vp for university development and chief executive officer for WSU foundation

Among the many notable gifts to WSU during fiscal year 2007 was a $25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation toward the construction of a $35 million state-of-the-art research facility that will serve as the home of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s School for Global Animal Health. Research at the school will focus on discovering new vaccines, diagnostics and other strategies to control global infectious diseases that affect both animals and humans. The grant represents the largest single private financial commitment in WSU history.

The WSU Foundation’s endowment finished the year at $324.3 million, an increase of $7.6 million over the previous year. The alumni gift participation rate also increased from 19.8 percent to more than 20.5 percent.

Private philanthropy from more than 65,000 donors supported a wide variety of programs across WSU during FY2008, including scholarships, graduate fellowships, professorships, faculty chairs, as well as WSU’s research, academic, extracurricular and outreach programs across the state.

WSU’s academic future depends on the investment of all of its generous supporters,” said Floyd. “The support of our loyal donors is critical if WSU is to fully realize its potential as a leading land-grant university in the nation. We simply could not enjoy the recent scholarship and research successes without them.”