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WSU tops $120.8 million in philanthropic support in FY2021

Entrance to Washington State University's Pullman campus.
Washington State University

Washington State University announced today that alumni, friends, and industry partners invested more than $120.8 million in support of the University during fiscal year 2021, which ended June 30.

“Everyone at WSU benefits in some way by the generous philanthropic support demonstrated by WSU’s alumni, friends, and partner organizations,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “Their investments create opportunities for our students, faculty, and staff to change lives and make a difference in the communities we serve. This year, their continuing engagement is all the more remarkable in light of the many challenges we have all experienced throughout the pandemic.”

In all, 35,184 donors directed 104,170 gifts, grants, and pledges in support of a range of academic, research, and outreach priorities during FY2021.

The WSU Foundation’s endowment value also rose more than 30% during FY2021 to a high-water mark of $650 million as of June 30. More than $21.2 million was distributed from the endowment during the fiscal year to support student scholarships, faculty positions, research, and outreach programs University-wide.

Visit the WSU Foundation’s website to learn more about supporting WSU.

“The exceptional philanthropic engagement experienced throughout the last year owes everything to the generosity and loyalty of the extended Cougar family of alumni and friends, who continue to invest in WSU’s students, faculty, research, and outreach,” said Mike Connell, acting vice president for WSU Advancement and CEO of the WSU Foundation. “Driven by a collective optimism, their generous investment opens doors and creates opportunities across our state, region, and beyond.”

A few highlights from across WSU Advancement during FY2021 include:

  • Longtime Tri-Citian Bob Ferguson, who served as the first deputy assistant secretary of nuclear programs for the U.S. Department of Energy, made a $500,000 gift to support WSU Tri-Cities’ first endowed faculty position in energy and environment. The Bob Ferguson Distinguished Professorship in Energy Systems will help jumpstart a new institute that will focus on partnerships for research in the energy industry, fostering community discussions and relationships for policy development at the state and national levels, and curriculum to support future workforce needs across various energy sectors.
  • Students, bees, wine, and several other agricultural research and outreach programs across the state benefitted from a $2 million gift from Northwest Farm Credit Services. Among the recipients of the funding are the new WSU Honey Bee and Pollinator Research, Extension, and Education Facility in Othello; Washington State 4-H; and the WSU chapter of the student organization Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS).
  • WSU announced in February the naming of the Spark Academic Innovation Hub’s marquee lecture space on the Pullman campus as the PACCAR Lecture Hall, thanks to a generous donation from PACCAR Inc, a global technology company.
  • Cougar Athletics broke fundraising records for the second straight year, with nearly $30.2 million in total philanthropic activity during FY2021. The year was highlighted by the $6 million challenge initiated by Scott and Lisa Taylor and Ken and Sue Christianson, which helped provide a major boost to the fundraising efforts for the Indoor Practice Facility (IPF) and Champions Complex projects.
  • WSU alumni and friends stepped up in a big way in April to participate in #CougsGive annual day of giving, contributing a record $704,962 in a single day to support students, faculty, research, and service initiatives across the WSU system. Donors from 30 states made 1,296 gifts throughout the day. Support for the College of Veterinary Medicine led the way, with 259 gifts totaling $337,307, and every WSU campus and college benefitted during #CougsGive.
  • The WSU Alumni Association reached 43,072 members, keeping with the incredible growth the WSUAA has seen over the last decade. The WSUAA played a pivotal role in maintaining the critical outreach between the University and its alumni by transitioning scores of traditionally in-person events and programming to innovative virtual experiences throughout the pandemic, ensuring alumni and friends were engaged with WSU during a time when in-person connections were not possible.

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