By Trevor J. Durham, WSU Foundation
“$900 million is a noteworthy milestone for private support at Washington State University,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “But most importantly, the impact of these commitments on the lives of our students and the reach of our research is so much greater than a dollar figure.
“WSU has accomplished much during this campaign,” he said. “We have constructed state-of-the-art facilities, established and elevated top-ranking research and academic programs, and created new scholarships and fellowships to improve access to higher education for the citizens of our state. And with a little more than a year and about $100 million to go, we have not yet finished what we started eight years ago.”
Chaired by WSU alumnus, retired Boeing executive and WSU Regent Scott Carson, The Campaign for WSU launched its public phase in December 2010 with events in Seattle, Pullman and throughout the state.
The four largest commitments in WSU history have been made during this campaign. They include gifts of $26 million and $25 million from Paul G. Allen and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, respectively, to support international teaching and outreach programs and to fund construction of WSU’s Center for Global Animal Health.
Research at the School for Global Animal Health focuses on discovering new vaccines, diagnostics and other strategies to control global infectious diseases that affect both animals and humans. The school and the center that houses it were both named in Allen’s honor.
Washington’s tree fruit industry made commitments totaling more than $32 million to endow new faculty positions and create endowments to help accelerate tree fruit research activities and industry outreach at WSU.
The Gene and Linda Voiland School for Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering has become one of the leading programs in the nation, thanks to a $17 million commitment from the Voilands in 2008. Their gift created two Voiland Distinguished Professorship positions within the school and provided critical funding to support innovative research into new energy conversion technology.
Smaller gifts support priorities
The campaign has not been just about big gifts. Nearly 184,000 individual donors and industry partners have stepped up to make nearly 700,000 gifts, grants, revocable gift intentions and other commitments. These support WSU students, faculty, research and outreach and leverage the university’s impact across the state and around the world.
Support for students and access to higher education has been a top priority of The Campaign for WSU, with more than $118.8 million raised in support of endowed and current use scholarships and graduate fellowships university-wide.
“Ensuring access to a quality higher education for our state’s citizens has never been more important than it is today,” said Floyd. “It is heartwarming to know that so many recognize this need to invest in our state’s students—current and future—to pursue their educations at WSU.
“Thousands of students have benefited—and will continue to benefit—from the generous scholarship support contributed during this campaign,” he said.
Endowments invest in future
More than $145 million has been designated to create endowments that generate perpetual funding to support WSU’s students, faculty, research and programs for generations to come. Nearly 560 new named endowment funds have been created during the fundraising effort.
To date, 391 new endowed scholarships and graduate fellowships were created. Additionally, 27 new endowed faculty positions have been established to help attract and retain the best teachers and researchers in their respective fields.
“WSU’s future depends on the investment of all of its generous supporters,” said Floyd. “The meaningful and enthusiastic support of our loyal donors is critical if WSU is to fully realize its potential as a leading land-grant university. We simply cannot be successful without private investment.”
There’s still time to give
Campaign Chair Carson agreed.
“What we have been able to accomplish during this campaign is impressive, but with a little more than a year still to go in the campaign, there are still so many opportunities for the Cougar Nation to make a tangible and lasting difference for Washington State University with their generous gifts,” he said.
“Now is the time for everyone who cares about the quality of research and access to higher education—and the impact they have on Washington’s citizens, communities and economy—to make an investment in Washington State University’s future,” he said. “Together, we will have more than a billion reasons to celebrate next summer.”
The Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas (http://foundation.wsu.edu/campaign/) is a $1 billion comprehensive fundraising effort to increase support for WSU’s students, faculty, research and outreach programs and to leverage the university’s impact across the state, nation and world.
Following a silent phase that began on July 1, 2006, the public phase of the campaign began on Dec. 2, 2010, and is scheduled to conclude in June 2015.
Trevor J. Durham, WSU Foundation, 509-335-2093, email@example.com