WSU tops $49 million in private support

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

If you look at the WSU Foundation’s annual report, it appears that employees, alumni and friends love the university more than ever.

The foundation reported this week that it ended fiscal year 2004-05 with a 9.4 percent increase in private support over the previous fiscal year. The university reached its second highest mark in the WSU Foundation’s 26-year history with $49,468,884 in gifts and private grants during fiscal year 2004-05, which ended June 30.

“The commitment to excellence demonstrated by the more than 47,000 donors is truly remarkable,” said WSU Foundation President Len Jessup. “Private support is critical to the university’s ability to offer scholarships for deserving students, carry out cutting edge research, attract and retain top faculty, and provide the margin of excellence across all programs at Washington State University.”

For the fourth straight year, the number of President’s Associates — individuals and organizations contributing $1,000 or more annually — has set a participation record with more than 4,900 members in 2004-05, an increase of more than 3.2 percent over the previous fiscal year. President’s Associates gifts totaled $29,104,107, representing 58.8 percent of the total private support during fiscal year 2004-05.

“The continued and unprecedented growth of the President’s Associates program demonstrates our donors’ high level of dedication to WSU and the confidence they have in the caliber of research and quality of the education being generated by our faculty, staff and students every day,” said WSU President V. Lane Rawlins.

The largest gift received during fiscal year 2004-05 was a series of estate gifts totaling $4.3 million from Herb and Margaret Eastlick to benefit future students and faculty. After their deaths — Herb in 2002 and Peg in 2004 — their estate was apportioned to the Herbert L. Eastlick Scholarship, the Margaret G. Eastlick Regents Scholarship and the Herbert L. Eastlick Professorship. Including the estate, their lifetime gift total is more than $6.6 million — the fourth largest individual lifetime contribution in WSU history.

“Through their generosity and visionary foresight, Herb and Peg have ensured that the WSU legacy forged throughout their careers as teachers, mentors and friends will continue in perpetuity for the benefit of future generations of students and faculty,” Rawlins said.

WSU added 29 endowed scholarships during fiscal year 2004-05. The university also added six endowed graduate fellowships and one endowed professorship. The WSU Foundation’s endowment also finished the year at $231.8 million, an increase of more than 11.9 percent over the previous fiscal year. Additionally, the endowment had an average rate of return of more than 12 percent during the last two fiscal years.

“Private support is not only important for the health of Washington State University, it is also vital to the health of the state,” said Mikal Thomsen, chair of WSU Foundation’s Board of Governors. “Fiscal year 2004-05 was a success for the WSU Foundation and for the university, and we look forward to building on that success for years to come.”

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