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Gift drive aids students, honors Rawlins legacy

Inspired by the impact of President V. Lane Rawlins’ leadership at Washington State University, several generous donors have directed gifts totaling $2.5 million to WSU in honor of the president and his wife Mary Jo. These donations will advance graduate education and women in engineering.

Notable among the gifts, made through the WSU Foundation, is an anonymous donation of $1.5 million from a former faculty member and his wife to support graduate student fellowships. An anonymous gift of $500,000 from a Seattle-area business leader was made to support graduate education.

“In addition to honoring the legacy of President Rawlins, these tremendous gifts will enable WSU’s graduate program to strategically invest and drive excellence in identified areas, to foster innovative interdisciplinary research, and to be a catalyst for new training grants for graduate students,” said Howard Grimes, dean of the Graduate School.

A third gift, $500,000 from the Boeing Company, was made in honor of the Rawlins’ legacy. Of the total, $450,000 is designated to support scholarships for women in engineering, while $50,000 was directed to other university priorities.

Fund drive honors couple
The WSU Foundation is launching a gift drive to honor the impact and legacy of the Rawlinses. Alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of WSU are invited to honor the university’s ninth president through contributions to the Regents Scholars Program.

The program funds scholarships for high-achieving undergraduate students from throughout Washington. Established during Rawlins’ presidency, the program has become one of WSU’s most successful scholarship and recruitment efforts.

“President Rawlins’ passionate belief in the linkage between world-class research and outstanding undergraduate education – ‘the main thing,’ as he called it – has been the focal point around which the university accomplished many milestones during his seven years of leadership,” said Larry Culver, chair of the WSU Foundation. “The gift drive is a meaningful opportunity for all of us to say ‘thank you’ to Lane and Mary Jo Rawlins for all that they have done for Washington State University.”

To make a gift, visit the WSU Foundation at or phone 1-800-448-2978 or 335-6686. Progress on the honorary gift drive will be reported during presidential farewell events in mid-May.

For more information about the Regents Scholars Program, visit

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