WSU Foundation planning 10-year fundraiser

Foundation will build relationships with those wanting to support WSU; $1.065 billion raised in last campaign



WSU Foundation previously ran a fundraising campaign from July 2006 to June 2015.

CALLIE GERBER, Evergreen reporter

WSU Foundation is in the early planning phase for its 10-year fundraising campaign.

The foundation began to work on the campaign approximately 18 months to two years ago, but the planning process slowed because of COVID-19. At this time, the foundation does not have a start date for the fundraiser, said Trevor Durham, WSU Foundation associate vice president.

Mike Connell took over as CEO of the foundation on Wednesday, Durham said. The planning for the fundraising campaign should pick up with the CEO position solidified.

The campaign has a variety of different initiatives to help students, faculty, research and outreach in the community, he said.

“A campaign brings that philanthropic support and focus around advancing a collective vision and mission to the university,” Durham said.

As far as strategies to get donations, the foundation is focusing on continuing to build relationships with alumni, friends and people who are interested in supporting WSU, he said.

All donors are different, Durham said. Some people had a fantastic time in a particular program and want to financially give back to it. They want to make sure others can have similar experiences and help the students cover some of the finances of that experience.

Other people are passionate about a topic like research or athletics, and they want to help those who are involved with that, he said. In the last fundraiser the foundation ran, the donations from the campaign went toward building the Paul G. Allen Center for Global Health.

Most universities are now doing nine-to-10-year campaign fundraisers, Durham said. The last fundraising campaign the foundation put on went from July 2006 to June 2015. During this time, they raised a grand total of $1.065 billion from 206,259 donors, according to the WSU Campaign website.

Professional musician Machado Mijiga got a grant funded by donations to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence Fund during the last campaign. He secured the grant in 2015 while majoring in music. 

Mijiga said he submitted a grant request to the College of Arts and Sciences. After it was approved, he spent three to four months working with his music adviser on the research. Then, he worked with the College of Arts and Sciences to present the research conducted.

Mijiga’s research was on composing contemporary jazz music. There is a lot of research on composing classical music, but not much with contemporary jazz, he said.

More specifically, the research looked at the ways someone could create contemporary jazz music using different methods and which of those methods worked the best for writing, he said. He presented in the format of a music album, and each piece of the album used a different method.

The grant helped Mijiga better understand the process of creating an album, what works best for him when creating music and which forms of composition are most effective, he said.

“The grant funding allowed me to purchase some equipment that I still use, which is great composition software and keyboard that I [have used] for years. It’s certainly good to continue to have undergraduate research opportunities like that,” Mijiga said.