Scholarship Endowments’ Growth Offer Support to Top Students

PULLMAN, Wash. — During Washington State University’s highly successful
fund-raising drive called Campaign WSU, scholarship endowments tripled in
dollar value, producing more annual income to help students afford to attend
the university. Now, the Provost’s Office and WSU’s academic colleges are
collaborating to offer more attractive scholarship support to talented
prospective students.

According to Rom Markin, WSU’s interim provost, these expanded
scholarship funds let WSU colleges provide scholarships both to juniors and
seniors majoring in their academic programs and to new freshmen and transfer
students indicating an intention to major in a field in a particular college.

“This new approach is going to allow WSU to be much more competitive in
attracting a larger number of the best students from Washington and
nationally,” said Markin, who was dean of the College of Business and
Economics during much of the campaign.

“Today’s talented college-bound students receive offers of substantial
scholarship support from private and public universities alike, often for all four
years of college. WSU will now be able to offer competitive scholarship
packages to the students we want to attract,” he indicated.

Expanded scholarship funds will be available for offers to students with 3.6-4.0
grade point averages as well as to those with 3.3-3.59 gpas, he said.

The university’s scholarship endowments grew during the campaign from
$14.8 million in 1990 to $46 million in 1997, the year Campaign WSU ended.
Today, these endowments are valued at $64 million. Annual income from the
endowments provides the funds for scholarships.

Markin said he and the deans have identified more than $500,000 in
scholarship funds for next year that can be applied to this new effort.

“WSU is blessed with some of the most generous alumni in the nation as well
as many friends at Northwest businesses,” Markin said. “During the campaign,
they established many new scholarship funds in academic colleges where they
have special relationships.”

Markin said the collaboration between the Provost’s Office and the academic
deans will allow the university to meet the intent of many donors, which is to
help young people attend WSU for four years and major in an area of study
important to the individual or corporate contributors.

During 1995 and 1996 when the campaign was underway, WSU had the
highest alumni giving rate of all public universities in the country, according to
the annual U.S. News and World Report “Best Colleges 1998” edition. Some 35
percent of alumni who received an undergraduate degree from WSU
contributed during that time period. The report, which ranks the nation’s 400
top universities in a variety of categories, called this measure “a proxy of
alumni satisfaction.”

Campaign WSU, the university’s first comprehensive fund-raising effort, raised
more than $275.4 million. More than 137,100 donors and 55 percent of WSU’s
alumni participated in that multi-year effort led by the WSU Foundation. The
largest gift for scholarships was $5 million from 1940 alumnus Phil Lighty and
his wife, June, of Burlingame, Calif.