OSU Students Graduating

Dear university colleague:

Following commencement this past weekend (which was amazing – Congrats to Kayleen Eng in the Office of the Provost for her leadership!), I am reflecting on the many ways we have advanced Oregon State University’s mission together this academic year:

  • We welcomed OSU’s 16th president, Jayathi Murthy.
  • We publicly launched Believe It: The Campaign for Oregon State University.
  • We engaged 10,000 Beaver Believers and won the Las Vegas Bowl (go Beavs!).
  • We had a record-breaking 24-hour Dam Proud Day.
  • We celebrated the OSU Foundation’s 75th anniversary.
  • We launched both the university’s and the Foundation’s strategic planning processes.

In an effort to keep you, our university leaders, apprised of the Foundation’s activities, I’m pleased to share a snapshot of a few of the things on our minds in these last couple days of the fiscal year, none of which would be possible without your partnership.

I’ll be in touch early over the summer with a look back on FY23 and with updates on the Foundation’s Vital Few Goals for the year.

David Ngo, College of Liberal Arts ’2

"Being out there engaging with the community gives me a sense of meaning. It feels fulfilling to advocate for better mental health services and try to develop something that's meaningful and has a lasting impact for our community.”

David Ngo, College of Liberal Arts ’23, helped lay the groundwork for the reimagined Beavers Belong Support Network, a space where students can ease stress by connecting with their peers and discussing commonplace experiences and challenges. Learn more about the Student Mental Health fundraising initiative.

OSUF’s mission by the numbers

Inspire investment

As of May 31, donors had given $157.37 million, surpassing our baseline fundraising goal of $134 million and nearly 96% of our stretch goal of $164 million. This total includes five gifts of $5 million or more.

We are making progress on the $25 million challenge to raise critically important current-use funds for people, programs and equipment for the Jen-Hsun and Lori Huang Collaborative Innovation Complex. At the end of May, donors had given nearly $21.5 million; we have until the end of December to complete this challenge.

Engage our community

This month, we joined the OSU community in celebrating the graduation of over 7,300 new alumni. The CH2M HILL Alumni Center hosted over 700 graduating students for a Grad Night on June 8, which in addition to being a fun-filled event also included information about OSU Connections, how to update contact information and more. After commencement, the Alumni Center also offered a meeting place for graduates to find their loved ones and take photos with President Murthy (and #BigBenny). Special thanks to OSUAA board chair Julie Lambert, College of Business ’85, for speaking at commencement.

Steward resources

The most recent endowment market value, as of the end of April, was $812.28 million. We are grateful for the proactive management provided by our partners at Agility and guided by policies established by the Foundation Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee.

Executive Committee images

The 2023-24 Executive Committee of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees

Recapping our annual spring board meetings

We were delighted that our board members were able to join us in person in Corvallis in May for our annual meeting, along with President Jayathi Murthy, Provost Ed Feser and Vice Presidents Steve Clark and Mike Green. Our board approved the budget, elected new and returning Trustees and recognized and thanked Trustees who are retiring from the board and Trustees who are moving on to sabbaticals. A couple highlights:

  • Penny Atkins, College of Business ’79, will assume the role of board chair on July 1, 2023. Dave Underriner, College of Forestry ’81, was elected as chair-elect, and as such will chair the Committee on Trustees.
  • We thanked Eric Schoenstein, College of Business ’88, for his two action-packed years as board chair; as immediate past chair, he will assume the role of liaison to the university’s governing board.

We also celebrated the OSU Foundation’s 75th anniversary and Lifetime Trustee award recipients (see below for more details) and engaged with leaders on updates to university and Foundation strategic plans, with a focus on student success and Economic Development and Industry Relations (EDIR).

75th Anniversary GIF

More than 200 guests gathered on May 18 at the Oregon State University President’s Residence to celebrate the OSU Foundation’s 75th anniversary.

Celebrating the OSU Foundation’s 75th anniversary

The 75th anniversary celebration on May 18 provided an opportunity to remember and thank our past and present volunteer leaders, university leaders and the Foundation’s staff who, throughout the past 75 years, have enhanced and accelerated the university through their gifts and service. I am grateful many of our university leaders were able to join us. Photos and videos are available on our webpage, as well as information on our five new Lifetime Trustees, the Foundation’s highest recognition for longstanding and outstanding service.

Meet the Lifetime Trustees

In June, we also celebrated the impact of our long-tenured staff at a couple events this month, including a new “Ten-Year Tenure” dinner that will from now on be an annual celebration of staff who have worked for the OSU Foundation for more than 10 years. Roughly 60% of our staff have worked at the Foundation more than five years, and 54 staff members have been on the staff for more than ten years! We are in a relationship business, so this longstanding tenure is an essential ingredient in our success. Case in point: The average tenure for a major gift officer in our profession is between two and three years; ours is 8.5 years.

Here are a few more facts that showcase the impact of the Foundation’s work with alumni, donors, volunteers and university leaders (as of June 30, 2022, unless otherwise noted):

  • It took 60 years, from 1947 until 2007, for the Foundation to receive its first $1 billion in philanthropic commitments. It then took just nine years for us to work with donors to secure the second $1 billion. And, this May, just six years later, we surpassed more than $3 billion in cumulative philanthropic commitments.
  • At $812 million, our endowment is one of the 200 largest college and university endowments (private and public) in North America. It is invested for the long term and provides stability for the Foundation and the university.
  • We have more than 2,600 distinct endowment funds, which support a myriad of people and programs at the university.
  • Of those funds, more than 1,500 are scholarship and fellowship funds, and more than 4,300 students benefit from these funds. That’s right, more than 4,000 students at OSU are supported by funds we helped secure and steward.
  • We have 181 endowed faculty position funds, which are essential to recruiting and retaining our outstanding faculty.
  • We have raised philanthropic funds for over 36 facilities, from Weatherford to Kelley Engineering to the Linus Pauling Science Center to PRAx. Our work has made an amazing difference for OSU’s campuses.
  • Our community of supporters continues to grow. We recently crossed the 500-member milestone in our Harris Society, our recognition society for donors who have given more than $1 million in cumulative gifts. Interestingly, 60% of our Harris members have stepped forward since the end of our last campaign in 2014.

None of this success just happened. It was the result of hard work by our volunteer leaders, our university leaders (that’s you!), our outstanding Foundation staff and, of course, our generous donors.

GIF from the Dammys

The Dammys awards presented each year celebrate a few of our best partners in Dam Proud Day. Thank you!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Dammys

I am grateful to those who joined us at the President’s Residence on May 10 for the Dammys, where we celebrated the community-building efforts, innovative strategies and healthy competition that inspired Dam Proud Day’s record-breaking success in 2023: $2.1 million and over 7,700 gifts in 24 hours.

We’re grateful and proud to celebrate everyone who played a role in the success of Dam Proud Day 2023, including those awarded “Dammys."


Best collaborators: Ann Marie Murphy (Division of Extension & Engagement) and Adam Drey (Division of Student Affairs)

Best communication strategy: College of Education

Best social strategy: Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine

Best challenge gift strategy: Our Beaver Nation Advisory Board

The Dam Proud Day Spirit Award, our highest honor: Lauren Sinacola, Women’s Soccer Head Coach


Donor participation challenge ($15K): Women’s Rowing

Alumni participation challenge ($15K): Men’s Rowing

Most dollars raised ($15K): Dean of Students’ Emergency Fund

New donors challenge ($15K): Women’s Soccer

Most improved in donors since last Dam Proud Day ($10K): Dean’s Scholarship Fund, College of Pharmacy

Most improved dollars raised ($10K) : Teacher Licensure Support Fund, College of Education

Academic unit with the most dollars raised ($10K): Student Affairs, awarded to Family Resource Center

Academic unit with the most gifts ($10K): Division of Extension and Engagement, awarded to KidSpirit

Special thanks to OSU Foundation Chair Eric Schoenstein, College of Business ’88, and his wife Kelly Douglas; Chair Elect Penny Atkins and her husband Gary; Immediate Past Chair John Stirek, College of Business ’82, and his wife Kate, College of Liberal Arts ’83; and Past Chair Ruth Beyer, College of Liberal Arts ’77, for inspiring participation in Dam Proud Day through the OSU Foundation Trustee Challenge.


OSU Loyal Faculty Staff Giving Award: College of Education, with 19% participation in Dam Proud Day. (Of note, the impossible to beat Honors College, with 48% of their 25 faculty and staff members making gifts, deserves our congrats as well!)

Dean’s Cup for college with most dollars raised: College of Agricultural Sciences

View photos from the event
Harris Reception with President Murthy talking in front of people.

It was wonderful to gather this spring with Harris Society members and past and present members of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees in Corvallis at the President's Residence and in Portland. These receptions offer intimate opportunities to celebrate what our community of supporters makes possible and showcase President Jayathi Murthy’s vision for OSU.

A lot to celebrate

Thank you for all the ways you strengthen Oregon State University, and happy end to the academic year! I am excited to start a new fiscal year in a couple weeks and continue to build on the momentum of a highly successful FY23, including the opening of the completed Reser Stadium this summer and PRAx next spring, both of which are cornerstone projects in the Believe It fundraising and engagement campaign. (Note there’s still time to make a gift to name a seat in the concert hall!)

I will be in touch soon. Let me know if you have questions. Best wishes for a great summer!


Shawn L. Scoville
President & CEO