Dear university colleague:
Thank you for your partnership as we advanced Oregon State University’s mission together during our fiscal year 2022, which ended on June 30, 2022. While we look forward to the year ahead, which will include welcoming OSU’s next president, Jayathi Y. Murthy, and publicly launching our fundraising and engagement campaign, I want to pause and celebrate our many successes in FY22.
For the first time in our history, our donors gave more than $200 million – a record year reflecting our momentum and the incredible collaboration, across OSU, which in so many ways define our university.
In an effort to keep you, our university leaders, apprised of the Foundation’s activities, I’m pleased to share the snapshot below of just a few of the remarkable things we achieved together in FY22.
Alumni gather in the OSU Portland Center for the Multicultural Greek Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council (Divine Nine) Greek Alumni Gathering in May 2022.
In FY22, Donors and Volunteers Showed Up Like Never Before
FY22 was a successful year in all three areas of the OSU Foundation’s mission:
- Inspire Investment – Second record-breaking year in a row
Our donors gave a record-breaking $216.9+ million in gifts and pledges, compared to $177 million on June 30, 2021. As with last year’s gift of $50 million to the Completing Reser Stadium project, this year’s total also includes one of the largest gifts the university has ever received. (More on this soon!) FY22 also marks a record year in “cash” as measured by the Voluntary Support of Education Survey.
I want to share my gratitude that, once again, 100% of the university’s Cabinet, Provost's Council of Deans and Provost’s Senior Leadership Team made gifts to OSU in FY22. We saw record participation from the Executive Committee of our Faculty Senate, and 100% of our OSU Foundation Trustees made a gift. This generosity sends a message to the OSU community that our leadership is all in for OSU, and I am grateful to all of you who gave.
- Engage our Community – We engaged more than 50,000 Beavers around the world
That’s our second highest total ever. We also had our second-best year for participation, driven largely by digital participation; for example, 1,800 Beavers registered for OSU Connections, our digital platform that gives our community a place to network with fellow alumni and friends all over the world.
We also advanced our goals for participation in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and events. In FY22, close to 500 volunteer engagements related to affinity groups and DEI occurred, more than doubling our baseline goal of 200 and demonstrating immense energy and interest in advancing DEI in our community.
Additionally, nearly 3,600 people engaged with the university as volunteers by participating in councils, boards and other committee or task force work. This meaningful volunteer work is among the most important ways to engage with the university because it allows our alumni, parents and friends to make a tangible difference in our community.
As a reminder, we prioritize and recognize engagement because we know that if we ask, our alumni and friends can help us advance the university’s goals in meaningful ways; in addition, by tracking engagement, we can tailor content to ensure our 215,000 alumni hear what they want from us.
- Steward Resources – The endowment, at $764.5 million, is outperforming our benchmark
Given the turbulence in the markets during the first half of 2022, it comes as no surprise that the OSU Foundation endowment ended the fiscal year on June 30 with a negative annualized return (-7.9%, or $764.5 million on June 30, 2022, compared to $819.5 million on June 30, 2021). What may actually be surprising, pleasantly so, is that the endowment performance surpassed our benchmark by 7.7%, measured by the MSCI All Country World Total Return Net Index from Morgan Stanley Capital International (the “MSCI ACWI”) and the Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index (the “Barclays Global Agg”).
We also beat our benchmark in 2021, when we had our highest return in history, so we are performing well at both ends of the spectrum. We are confident this will continue, thanks to the proactive management provided by our partners at Agility, guided by policies established by the Foundation Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee.
I am also grateful for my colleagues at the Foundation and the university for working together to develop our Fiduciary Compliance Policy, which the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees approved at its May meeting. The policy was created to encourage spending of endowment distributions or to reinvest for future benefit.
With 215,000 alumni, and an additional 300,000 parents and friends, Beavs really are everywhere. Case in point: This picture was taken at Harry's Bar in Paris, France.
Outstanding Final Year of Our Campaign’s “Silent Phase”
Our campaign plan is on track, and we look forward to sharing our progress with the world this fall. Already, we have more $1+ million gifts in the silent phase of this campaign than we did in our entire first campaign. We have also surpassed a half-million trackable engagements in the campaign to date. Lastly, our partnerships with Pentagram and INVNT have positioned us well for both campaign messaging and the campaign launch events, respectively. I am grateful to all of you who have met with them and provided valuable feedback – especially our partners in University Relations and Marketing. Stay tuned for more on the launch!
Clotilde Pierson is the Culbertson Faculty Scholar in the College of Engineering.
Endowed Faculty Position Funds Now Total 173
We continue to be grateful for and inspired by 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 Edward Feser and all others who partnered with us on this successful initiative.
Interestingly, more than half of our fully funded endowed faculty position funds have a market value of $1 million or more, including six at $5 million or more. With 35 endowed faculty position funds, the College of Agricultural Sciences has the most, followed by the College of Engineering with 34 position funds. However, the market value of the College of Forestry positions tops the list at $34.2 million; the College of Engineering is second at $31.1 million and the College of Agricultural Sciences comes in third at $27.9 million. These valuable funds support faculty members’ activities – helping advance their research innovations, instructional approaches and engagement with the public.
More than 4,500 Students Benefited From Donor-Funded Scholarships in FY22
Overall in FY22, donors gave $32.74 million for scholarships and student success, exceeding our $29 million goal. This success was in part due to the OSU Scholarship Match program, which amplifies donors’ impact on OSU students and ensures that students see an immediate benefit. So far 54 donors have stepped forward with gifts totaling $3.1 million to take advantage of the opportunity to help our students now – and forever – by creating an endowed scholarship fund.
A highlight last year was the creation, as a surprise, of the Becky Johnson and Lori Elkins Endowed Scholarship Fund for students at OSU-Cascades; donors gave close to $500,000 to the fund to honor Becky and Lori’s contributions and to recognize Becky’s leadership at OSU on the occasion of her retirement.
Thanks to all who joined us for the OSU Loyal Celebration at the President's Residence last fall. We look forward to this year's event on campus; more details will follow soon.
OSUF OSU Loyal Philanthropic Partner Award and Volunteer Opportunities
The OSU Foundation is now accepting nominations for the OSUF OSU Loyal Philanthropic Partner Award, which will be awarded this fall. The honoree will receive a gift credit of $5,000 at the OSU Foundation, which they will be able to designate to the area or areas of their choosing at Oregon State University. An email from Eric Beeler, chair of the OSU Loyal Committee, was sent to all OSU faculty and staff earlier this week with more details about award criteria and how to submit a nomination by the September 30 deadline.
Additionally, if you are interested in volunteering on the OSU Loyal Committee, which selects the OSUF OSU Loyal Philanthropic Partner Award honoree and helps create a lasting culture of philanthropy at OSU, please email Tyrell Warren-Burnett, our senior director of annual giving. In particular, members of the faculty are encouraged to participate (staff are well represented on the committee).
We are grateful to our colleagues at the foundation and university, who help create a strong culture of philanthropy at OSU. Pictured here: Our colleagues enjoying the record-breaking Dam Proud Day last April.
OSU Foundation as a Best Place to Work
While I’ve shared the news that I selected Todd Bastian in a competitive search process to serve as our new senior vice president for development, he was actually one of a number of employees who were promoted through our recent annual review process.
This banner year for promotions reflects our ongoing focus on being a Best Place to Work. It also showcases our efforts to continue to excel in employee retention. These strategies position us well as we navigate the national “The Great Resignation,” which, as you’ll see in this recent EAB article, is hitting advancement shops hard. Recognizing, as a separate organization, we don’t have university benefits, we understand it’s the total work package that makes the difference, including direct rewards such as compensation, benefits, and career advancement opportunities as well as recognition and cultural attributes such as workplace flexibility and social connectivity.
I thank the Foundation board’s Compensation and Talent Management Committee and Patricia Kenney, our vice president of talent management and chief administration officer, for their expert advice and guidance as we navigate this period of massive change in the labor market. Pat’s leadership and the committee’s input have been invaluable as we prioritize retention and professional development to ensure a highly qualified and productive staff is in place for the public launch of our campaign.
Lastly, I am delighted to share that the Portland Business Journal recently celebrated Pat as one of its HR Leadership Honorees at its annual HR Summit last month.
“The Presidential Scholarship has allowed me to fully engage in my passions at OSU through my different involvements, without having to worry about financial stress or other constraints, for which I am eternally grateful." – Sahana Shah, College of Science, Honors College, ’24
News and Events
- Sahana Shah, College of Science, Honors College, ’24, dreams of a new campus center for students with disabilities
- Scholarship fund created to honor OSU-Cascades former leader and OSU Interim President Becky Johnson tops $467,000
- Three generations of homebuilders team up to create a scholarship in the College of Engineering using the OSU Scholarship Match program
- Once a Beaver walk-on, David Montagne, College of Liberal Arts, ’87, joins effort to complete Reser Stadium
- OSU revives an old tradition this fall – one that hasn’t taken place since 1886: Playing a football game in Portland on September 17 vs. Montana State
- Remembering Lifetime Trustee Larry Giustina, College of Business, ’71: He loved family, timber, golf and OSU
- Lifelong dedication to improving the system drives College of Education alumna Chris Stephenson, Ph.D. ’08
- All Foundation events
The Foundation’s two top priorities for FY23 are to welcome Dr. Jayathi Y. Murthy and launch the public phase of our campaign.
I am grateful to you for your continued partnership in advancing the university’s mission. In the fall, I will follow up this email with our specific goals for the year, including the year’s priorities for our DEI Action Plan.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions or comments.
Shawn L. Scoville
President & CEO