News & Events
Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd delivered an in-person thank you to Washington wine grape growers this afternoon for their part of a $7.4 million commitment to support a new WSU Wine Science Center facility; he also reaffirmed the university’s long-term commitment to viticulture and enology education and research.
The state’s wine industry agreed late last year to generate the funds for the Wine Science Center through assessments levied on grape and wine production beginning with the 2011 harvest. The Washington State Wine Commission estimates it will collect the total amount over the next decade.
Addressing the 2012 annual meeting of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers, Floyd called the $7.4 million commitment “a giant step forward to assure that WSU and the industry have the facilities needed to engage in cutting-edge research and education to serve this important industry in the future.”
He also reaffirmed WSU’s role in supporting the industry. “Let me emphasize our long-term commitment to supporting the Washington wine industry from vineyard to glass with the very best teaching, research and extension we have to offer.”
Floyd noted the rich history of the WSU-wine industry partnership. “Together, we have made great strides in building one of the premiere viticulture and enology programs in the nation,” he said.
Ted Baseler, CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, WSU Regent, and alumnus, also announced a $1 million investment from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and its parent company, The Altria Group, to support wine science programs at Washington State University.
“Burgundy, Bordeaux, Tuscany – no great wine region in the world succeeds without the support of a strong research university,” he said. “This gift supports the Washington wine industry’s premier research university.”
President Floyd said the commitment from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and The Altria Group will help WSU viticulture and enology scientists make a dramatic difference for the state’s wine industry.
“Washington’s wine industry has said it wants to triple its economic impact at the state and national level to $10 billion, employ more than 57,000 people statewide, and increase the number of wine tourists in Washington from approximately 2 million to 5 million,” said Floyd. “This investment aligns perfectly with these goals, and WSU is uniquely positioned to help address these goals and to provide the research that will drive innovation in the industry.”
For more information about these transformational commitments or to learn more about WSU’s Wine Science Center, visit http://winecampaign.org.
Record Gift for Cougar Football
Washington State University Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced Thursday the largest gift in the history of Cougar Athletics to support The Cougar Football Project, which was approved by WSU’s Board of Regents Nov. 18. WSU alumnus Greg Rankich ’94 of Kirkland, Wash., has committed $3 million to support the expansion of Martin Stadium on WSU’s Pullman campus.
“This is a remarkable day for all of us in Cougar Athletics,” said Moos. “Greg’s generous commitment to support this project is noteworthy as it is the largest single commitment in this program’s long history. It is also significant because of what it means for our student-athletes and personnel as we transform our football program, and our entire athletics department, so we can be competitive with the best collegiate athletic programs in the nation.”
Rankich, 39, President and CEO of Xtreme Consulting Group, a business and IT consulting firm based in Kirkland, Wash., was honored during the Cougar Hardwood Classic basketball game at KeyArena in Seattle on Thursday.
“I believe in the direction Bill and his staff has taken for Cougar Athletics, and I am excited to be able to make this investment in The Cougar Football Project,” said Rankich, who is the youngest individual to be recognized as a Laureate at WSU (cumulative support of $1 million or more) in 2005. “As a proud Coug, this project means a lot to me personally. I hope all Cougars out there will join me in helping to make this and other facility projects in Athletics a reality.”
“Greg has been a generous supporter and visionary leader for WSU and Cougar Athletics from the day he graduated”, said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “His belief in the educational experience across WSU is evident in his support for a variety of areas in addition to Athletics, including the colleges of Business, Engineering & Architecture, Liberal Arts, and Nursing, to name a few. Greg continues to amaze me on a daily basis for the love that he has for his alma mater, as is clearly evidenced by his transformational philanthropic support.”
To honor Greg’s commitment to The Cougar Football Project, WSU Athletics will name the club room located within the new stadium expansion the Rankich Club Room. “It is the least we can do for someone who has done so much to improve this facility and to provide annual scholarship support for our student-athletes.” said Moos.
Construction for the South Side Seat expansion began after the season’s final home game on Nov. 21, and is expected to be completed in time for the opening home game of the 2012 football season when the Cougars play Eastern Washington University on Sept. 8. For the most up to date information on The Cougar Football Project, go to www.thecougarfootballproject.org.
The generous commitment from Rankich is a part of The Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas (campaign.wsu.edu). Since July 2006, the campaign has raised more than $638.2 million toward a $1 billion goal to increase support for WSU’s students, faculty, research, and programs and to leverage the University’s impact across the state, nation, and world.
WSU Tree Fruit Programs Receive $250,000 from Tree Top Inc.
With the express goal of supporting Washington’s tree fruit industry, Tree Top Inc. is investing $250,000 in tree fruit research, teaching and extension programs at Washington State University.
“Tree Top’s participation in the Campaign for Washington State University is first and foremost about reinforcing the industry’s investment in WSU,” says Tree Top CEO Tom Stokes, referring to the tree fruit industry’s recent approval of a $27 million self-assessment to support WSU tree fruit programs. “It is our way of affirming our ongoing support of the industry and its long-term prosperity.”
Dan Bernardo, dean of the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, says the gift will help to further cement a margin of excellence in tree fruit programs.
“This investment underscores the industry’s commitment to the value of quality research, extension and teaching, and represents one of the first major contributions by the business partners of tree fruit growers throughout the state,” he says. Specifically, the funds will support research orchard development, modern fruit handling and storage equipment and facilities, and scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students working in areas related to the industry.
Tree Top is a grower-owned cooperative established in 1960 in Selah, Wash., and is recognized as one of the world’s leading producers of tree fruit products, such as juice, apple sauce, packaged apples, and dried ingredients.
Last December, WSU announced it is in a $1 billion comprehensive fundraising effort: The Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas. To date, generous donors, businesses, and organizations have committed more than $638.2 million to the Campaign for WSU to increase support for the university’s students, faculty, and research and extension programs, and to leverage the University’s impact across the state, nation, and world.
Allied industry members have made additional gifts of over $500,000 in support of tree fruit research at WSU, and efforts will continue to secure an additional $10 million in gifts from other businesses associated with the tree fruit industry over the next year.
Celebrating Philanthropy at WSU
VIDEO: Students, faculty, and staff from the Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver campuses thank you for your continued support.
In celebration of National Philanthropy Day® on November 15, the WSU community says thank you to friends, volunteers, and donors. More than 145,000 donors have committed more than $632 million - or 63 percent – to date toward the $1 billion Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas. The campaign is the largest single fundraising effort in WSU history.
Apple and pear growers throughout the state have made a historic $27 million commitment to invest in tree fruit research and extension at Washington State University. This gift represents the largest private commitment to WSU to date.
This investment comes at a time when the $35 billion food and agriculture industry continues to increase its contribution to the state’s economy. Annually, the Washington tree fruit industry accounts for more than $6 billion of economic impact, with more than a third of that total derived from exports.
“The Washington tree fruit industry is a global competitor today in part due to the partnership and close collaboration between growers and researchers at WSU,” said Jim Doornink, who is chair of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission and raises cherries, apricots, peaches, pears and apples in the Yakima Valley. “The results of that relationship show up every day in the orchard, the packing house and the market. We are thrilled with this endorsement by apple and pear growers, and as a commission working with WSU, we remain committed to serving all fruit growers in the state.”
“This gift is testimony to three critical factors,” said Dan Bernardo, dean of WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. “The first is the commitment and foresight of an extremely progressive industry. The second is the quality and contributions of the gifted and dedicated scientists at WSU who work tirelessly to serve the industry. And, third is the trust and respect built between the two during a century-long partnership.”
OPENING DOORS FOR FIRST-GENERATION STUDENTS
A recent $860,000 grant from the Suder Foundation will allow Washington State University to establish a First Scholars program, providing support for first-generation college students on the Pullman campus. First-generation students are those whose parents don’t have a college degree.
The Suder Foundation recently awarded WSU’s Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment funding over five years to establish the program. It will provide students with mentoring, individualized tutoring and scholarship support.
"The university’s proven expertise with student support programs will be an asset as we continue to identify successful strategies for assisting first-generation college students,” says Diane Schorr, executive director of the Suder Foundation. "The team members involved in implementing First Scholars are as excited and interested in serving students through this model as we are.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, 36 percent of first-generation students complete a bachelor’s degree within six years of enrollment, compared with 43 percent of their peers whose parents have some college education and 60 percent of their peers whose parents have college degrees.
"This program will allow us to provide a more transformative, affordable and accessible education that will impact students for generations to come,” says Luci Loera, assistant vice president for enrollment management.
The program calls for the first cohort of 20 students to arrive on campus in fall 2012, with new cohorts of 20 students arriving each year after. In addition to mentoring and tutoring, each student will receive $5,000 scholarships for each year of good progress toward completion of an undergraduate degree. The First Scholars grant will provide $500,000 toward scholarships, with the remainder providing student support in the form of tutoring, mentoring and leadership training.
Eric Suder is founder and chairman of the board of ESI (Estech Systems, Inc.), a company that develops and manufactures phone systems for businesses. He established the foundation and the First Scholars program in 2008 to dramatically increase the graduation rate of first-generation college students. In addition to WSU, The Suder Foundation funds First Scholars programs at the University of Alabama, University of Kentucky, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and University of Memphis.
As part of the Campaign for Washington State University, Student Affairs and Enrollment strives to raise $45 million in support of general scholarships and student support services. For more information about how you can support general scholarships at WSU, contact Rise McGill at 509-335-7456 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Washington State University is dedicated to finding a balance between our needs and our resources while addressing the triple bottom line of economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social justice. The Organic smartFARM at WSU will be at the crossroads of these concepts.
The Organic smartFARM at WSU is an opportunity for individuals, and organizations alike to partner with the University to create a program that will revolutionize how future generations nurture the delicate balance of environmental, economic, and social needs. The best practices developed at the smartFARM will help organic programs be more financially competitive, guide policy decisions, and teach the industry’s next generation of leaders.
Believed to be the first and only project of its kind in the world, the Organic smartFARM builds upon the University’s already successful Organic Farm to address disparities between our resources and our needs. The smartFARM will enhance WSU’s capabilities in agricultural and sustainability innovations through the development of rigorous solutions to ultimately help feed the world in a sustainable way.
“We care about where our food comes from,” says John Reganold, Regents professor of soil science and agroecology. “We care how it is grown, and we care about the footprint we leave behind.”
“As a society, we are compelled to put more and more thought into where our food comes from, how it is produced, and what those production methods do to our planet and to each other,” says Michael Wolcott, director of the Institute for Sustainable Design and the Louisiana-Pacific professor of wood materials and engineering at WSU.
The long-term prototype project is integrating research and education from multiple disciplines, including the Institute for Sustainable Design and the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science programs in the College of Engineering and Architecture, and programs within Organic Agriculture Systems in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.
“What is unique about the Organic smartFARM,” says Dr. Wolcott, “is that we are combining knowledge, technology, comfortable living spaces, and educational and research opportunities while fostering a sense of compassion and connectivity to the surrounding community in our student and scientists.”
The concept, with lead funding through grants from Earthbound Farm, the Weyerhaeuser Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, is quickly gaining momentum. In addition, Pacific Natural Foods has been providing scholarship money for the past four years to students majoring in organic agriculture.
For more information about how you can become involved with the Organic smartFARM during The Campaign for Washington State University, contact Heidi Jarvis at 509-335-7177 or email@example.com. To learn more about the project, visit sustainabledesign.wsu.edu.
Northwest Farm Credit Services Boosts WSU Tree Fruit, Wine Research
With an eye toward bolstering the long-term success of many of its customers, Northwest Farm Credit Services has invested $500,000 in Washington State University's wine and tree fruit research and education programs.
During the next five years, half of the donation will go to WSU's Wine Research Center at Prosser. The other half will help to fund two new field laboratories at WSU's new Sunrise Research Orchard outside of Wenatchee. The gift currently is the lead gift supporting the tree fruit campaign, which is a major component of The Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas, which launched Dec. 2.
Phil DiPofi, president and CEO (pictured, left), said Northwest FCS is "pleased to partner with WSU as well as with the tree fruit and wine industries in this capital campaign. The amount of money being raised within the industry is impressive, and we are proud to participate."
Dan Bernardo, dean of the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, said the college appreciates the generous investment. "As a primary provider of financial support services for farmers throughout the region, Northwest Farm Credit Services sees firsthand the challenges their customers face and the competitive advantage that science-based information can provide," he said. "This donation will help strengthen already strong programs in tree fruit and wine."
Northwest FCS provides financing, related services and crop insurance to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, commercial fishermen, timber producers and rural homeowners in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.
Bethards Estate Gifts $2.5 Million for Scholarships at WSU
Washington State University has received a gift of more than $2.5 million from the estate of Barbara Bethards to provide scholarships for students pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees at WSU.
Gift will open doors for students.
Barbara Gaye Bethards was a 1974 economics major. She passed away July 21, 2010 at age 58 and left the bulk of her estate to fund undergraduate scholarships at WSU. Her commitment stemmed from her fathers desire to leave scholarship support to WSU as reflected in his will.
"Scholarships are increasingly important to more and more students each year, said Elson S. Floyd, WSU President. Barbara Bethards generous gift for scholarships will make a meaningful difference for students seeking access to a quality higher education experience at Washington State University. The impact of her gift will open doors for WSU students for generations to come. >Full story
University launches largest fundraising effort in its history
Washington State University launched the public phase of the largest fundraising campaign in its history Dec. 2: a $1 billion effort designed to position WSU as one of the leading land-grant institutions in the world.
The Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas seeks to reach its goal by 2015, the 125th anniversary of the University's founding. More than 130,000 donors have committed $532.2 million to the campaign since its quiet phase began on July 1, 2006. >Full story
Paul Allen makes largest gift in WSU's history at public launch of campaign
Paul G. Allen, investor, philanthropist, and co-founder of Microsoft Inc., has made the largest gift to Washington State University in the school's history: $26 million to support programs and fund construction of WSU's School for Global Animal Health.
The gift was announced Dec. 2 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center during statewide events to launch the public phase of The Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas. >Full story
Recent News Releases and Announcements
The WSU Foundation hosts a variety of events in Washington and across the nation each year. These include exclusive President's Associates events, program fund raisers, bowl game gatherings, and more.
Follow the links below for information aboutfuture events and a recap of past events. To learn more about upcoming Foundation events in your area, contact our events staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-448-2978.
Here are a few helpful links to learn about events across WSU.