Dear university colleague:
I am pleased to present this high-level summary of the OSU Foundation’s mid-year progress for the fiscal year, which highlights many of the incredible ways the OSU community stepped forward for our students, faculty, staff and university. Let me start by thanking you for your partnership in all that we have achieved in advancing Oregon State University’s mission.
My goal is to continue to keep you, as a leader at our university, apprised of the Foundation’s fundraising and engagement activities throughout the year. For your reference, these updates are also stored on our new website.
Advancing our mission: By the numbers
Unless otherwise noted, the following is a summary of our progress between July 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021, the mid-year point in the fiscal year.
Fundraising: Donors committed $99.4 million in gifts and pledges, which marks the best first half of the fiscal year in our history. We also received $100.8 million in outright gifts and pledge payments (cash) and are therefore positioned to have our best year in cash ever. (For context, we have only crossed $100 million in cash in an entire year five times in our history, and we’ve still got six more months to go. This cash number matters as it is how universities compare fundraising progress.)
Endowment: As of December 31, 2021, the endowment market value was a record-high $873,797,632. As a reminder, the market value of the endowment was $595.8 million on June 30, 2018. This growth generates an increased endowment distribution to the university; in FY21, the distribution was $22.3 million, an increase of $1.4 million more than the previous year to support scholarships, faculty positions, programs and projects.
Engagement: Among our engagement strategies, I am particularly excited about the potential of OSU Connections; currently, the team is focused on generating more enthusiasm for this online community engagement platform, moving beyond early adopters to ensure every OSU student has access to the Beaver network. Of course, the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl provided a more traditional engagement opportunity for many of our constituents, including the close to 1,000 participants in the OSU Alumni and Friends Tailgater. Lastly, I am excited to learn more about the experience team’s emerging plans to deepen the engagement of participants by moving them into volunteer roles.
Our newest honoree gathers with fellow Lifetime Trustees. Pictured left to right: Jerry Hulsman, College of Business '54; Connie Kearney, College of Education '65; Eric Schoenstein, College of Business '88, chair; Pat Reser, College of Education '60, Hon. Ph.D. '19; Sue McGrath, College of Science '70; Peggy Wood, College of Business '61; Shawn L. Scoville, president and CEO.
Lifetime Trustee celebration honoring Patricia Valian Reser
The OSU Foundation celebrated our newest Lifetime Trustee – Patricia Valian Reser – on Thursday, Feb. 24, during its winter board meeting. The Lifetime Trustee Award is the Foundation’s highest honor for volunteers, and we were pleased to celebrate with guests in-person and online. View highlights and images from the event.
I am grateful to the following members of our community for sharing words of appreciation and stories regarding Pat’s extraordinary contributions to the university, Oregon and the world: Interim President Becky Johnson; Steven Zielke, the Patricia Valian Reser Professor of Music; Dean Emeritus Ilene Kleinsorge of the College of Business; President Emeritus Edward J. Ray; among other friends. The celebration also included a surprise serenade by the OSU Meistersingers.
More than 10,000 people watched a livestream of the implosion of Reser Stadium. A video on the OSU football team’s Twitter page received more than 550,000 views, and the university’s TikTok video reached more than 229,000 people.
Completing Reser Stadium fundraising success is emblematic of the university’s momentum
In less than a year, donors exceeded the fundraising goal to transform Reser Stadium. Completing Reser Stadium was made possible by 20 donors who each made gifts of $1 million or more, including a previously announced anonymous gift of $50 million, which equals the largest donation (see below) ever made to OSU. These donors are also true university community leaders. The same 20 donors who gave $91.6 million to complete Reser Stadium have given $119 million to OSU’s academic programs during their lifetimes.
“For OSU to compete at the highest levels in athletics, and to attract the next generation of talented students, this project is critical. The year-round use of the stadium, including the wellness center and welcome center, will benefit the entire OSU community,” said Sue and Bernie McGrath, who are donors to the project and 1970 alumni of the College of Science. “We have complete faith in the leadership of the university, Foundation and athletic department to execute this vision, and we are excited to be a part of making it happen.”
In addition to the $50 million lead gift to complete Reser Stadium, in the last five years the university has received its largest gifts ever: a $50 million gift from alumnus Gary Carlson, College of Science, ’74 to name the Gary R. Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, and an anonymous $25 million gift to support construction of the new $70 million Arts and Education Complex currently being built on the university’s Corvallis campus.
Professor Siew Sun Wong is the Interim Moore Family Center Endowed Director.
Third Provost's Faculty Match program successfully draws to a close
We are excited about the enthusiasm our donors showed for the completed Provost’s Faculty Match Program, a joint effort between the Office of the Provost and the OSU Foundation. In just six months, donors came together to commit an inspiring $13.8 million to establish 15 new endowed faculty position funds at Oregon State University. We are grateful to Provost Feser and all others who partnered with us on this successful initiative. These valuable funds support faculty members’ activities – helping advance their research innovations, instructional approaches and engagement with the public.
The new endowed positions are distributed across seven colleges: new chairs and a faculty fellow in Forestry; a chair (its first) and professorship in Business; two professorships in Agricultural Sciences; a faculty scholar (its first) in Education; and faculty scholar positions in Engineering, Science and Veterinary Medicine. These new additions bring the total number of endowed faculty position funds at OSU to 167 (an increase of more than 40 since 2015) with a market value of $207.9 million.
Please save the date for this year’s Faculty Excellence celebration on May 25, where we will once again recognize the university’s newest Distinguished Professors, fellows of the nation’s leading scholarly academies and associations, and faculty members newly named as holders of endowed positions. We will also celebrate the success of the Provost’s Faculty Match Program and thank our donors for their generous support.
So far, 52 donors have been inspired to participate in the OSU Scholarship Match Program, making gifts totaling nearly $3 million.
OSU Scholarship Match Program attracts endowed scholarship funds
In partnership with the Office of Enrollment Management, we launched the OSU Scholarship Match program to create new endowed scholarship funds ($50,000 minimum gift, payable over five years) that will immediately benefit students.
This effort is designed to inspire donors to fund endowed scholarship funds with few restrictions, which make them exceedingly valuable to the university. Donors to the match program may decide whether their scholarship funds will be awarded to students in a specific college or across the university and whether eligible students must demonstrate financial need.
To demonstrate the importance of endowed and unrestricted funds, take the example of a $50,000 gift made 20 years ago. Today, this endowment would have a market value of approximately $66,000. It would have also produced approximately $45,000 in distributions to students via scholarships. This means, in total, a donor’s investment of $50,000 produced an additional $61,000. And, by giving to an unrestricted scholarship, the donor guarantees the university will be able to find a student who will most benefit from the support.
Contact Denise Harrison for more information on the OSU Scholarship Match program, or visit our website.
Top left to bottom right: Elizabeth Ocampo, director of development, Foundation Relations; Paul DuBois, director of development, Foundation Relations; Heather Brust, senior executive director, University Industry Partnerships; Aaron Shonk, senior director of development, Foundation Relations
Growing our Foundation Relations and University Industry Partnerships teams
One of the ways we partner with faculty to advance their critical work and the mission of the university is through our Foundation Relations team and by supporting University Industry Partnerships.
The Foundation Relations team helps faculty, colleges and the university develop high-quality proposals to private foundations by providing services in grant development, editing, prospect research and report management. The team also provides workshops to help OSU faculty hone their skills to transition their federal writing skills to high-caliber private foundation proposals. I am happy to share that, to further support OSU faculty and this highly productive team, we are increasing our investment to grow this team of three professionals to a team of four. Reach out to Aaron Shonk for more information.
Our own Heather Brust has stepped into a new role serving as the Foundation's senior executive director, University Industry Partnerships. (This position has been intentionally vacant for a number of years.) The Foundation and university are exploring options for a blended approach to University Industry Partnerships that embraces the benefits of both centralized and decentralized strategies. Working with Provost Ed Feser and me, Heather is partnering with Irem Tumer, vice president for research, and Brian Wall, associate vice president for research, innovation and economic impact, to explore talent access, industry research priorities and other trends, to propose a new university-wide approach to industry collaborations and partnerships. This “outside-in” approach allows us to leverage our strengths as we consider new opportunities through the lenses of our internal and external stakeholders. Reach out to Heather Brust for more information.
OSU Foundation Trustee and donor Steven Jackson, College of Public Health and Human Sciences ’20, a former Beaver Football standout and professional football running back, generously created the Jackson Family Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund to help the university recruit underrepresented faculty and staff.
Communicators and fundraisers in your units have recently attended workshops and are working closely with our teams to make Dam Proud Day successful for the entire university. Thank you!
I am grateful for all the ways you support OSU. We are all looking forward to the next Dam Proud Day, our annual day of giving, which will occur on April 27. Thank you to you and your teams for your efforts to prepare for this always exciting day of celebration. If you have questions about Dam Proud Day, please contact Tyrell Warren-Burnett.
Please reach out to me if you have questions. Thank you!
Shawn L. Scoville
President and CEO