Giving to HSU Reaches Near-Record $7 million in 2013-14 - Humboldt State Now

Giving to HSU Reaches Near-Record $7 million in 2013-14

Humboldt State University received more than $7.1 million in voluntary support in 2013-14, an increase of nearly 29 percent over the previous year.


The total includes charitable contributions from alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations, making 2013-14 a near-record year for philanthropic giving at HSU.

Once again, the university had the highest alumni participation rate in the California State University system—7.1 percent of alumni gave in 2013-14—and saw the average alumni contribution increase to $350, up 32 percent from the previous year.

“Part of what makes philanthropy at Humboldt State remarkable is that our donors are so loyal and committed and want to give at all levels and all different amounts,” said Craig Wruck, HSU’s Vice President of University Advancement. “Our donors give because, just like our students, they want to make an impact on the world. Ultimately, it’s not about the dollars raised, but the impact on the lives of our students and, through them, the world.”

Last year alone, more than 7,500 alumni, faculty, staff and friends gave charitable contributions to Humboldt State including more than $350,000 to the Humboldt Loyalty Fund, which supports programs, scholarships and research that directly impact students. Through the Donor Voice Project, donors helped select eight projects, including specialized printing equipment for the Department of Geography, an x-ray fluorescence spectrometer for the Department of Anthropology, and echo sounder equipment for the R.V. Coral Sea.

Brian Tissot, HSU’s Marine Lab Director, said that more than 800 students in 16 courses conducted research aboard the Coral Sea last year. “The echo sounder is a state-of-the-art piece of equipment that can be used by our students to gather detailed information about the sea floor. It’s a really important and valuable gift to our Marine Sciences department.”

Donors also provided: a micro-plate reader for the Biological Sciences Core Facility, equipment upgrades for the Institute for Health & Human Performance in the College of Professional Studies, specialized chairs for the Student Disability Resource Center, resource materials for immigration and diversity housed in the University Library, and an unmanned aerial vehicle for the College of Natural Resources & Sciences.

The unmanned aerial vehicle has tremendous research potential for students in forestry, geology, wildlife management, and other disciplines, said Steve Smith, Dean of the College of Natural Resources and Sciences. “It will allow our students to do everything from look at coastal estuaries, estimate the density of birds, and even evaluate the crown height of trees,” Smith said.

KHSU, Humboldt State’s radio station, also saw a more than 10 percent boost in giving in 2013-14. More specifically, the station saw sustaining memberships—ongoing monthly contributions of $5 or more—increase by 85 percent.

“Our listeners are giving an average of $100 annually and showing us that they’re committed to supporting the causes that are important to them,” said David Reed, Development Director for KHSU, which receives 62 percent of its support through philanthropic giving.

New this year were two scholarships set up to recognize victims of the April 10, 2014 bus accident. The Michael Myvett and Mattison Haywood Memorial Scholarship, which honors the two alumni chaperones, and the Arthur Arzola Memorial Scholarship, which recognizes the HSU admissions counselor, raised more than $100,000 in contributions and matching funds from the HSU Advancement Foundation. Scholarships were offered to all students involved in the bus crash and to date, 25 have accepted the offer to attend HSU.

The university also received its first charitable remainder trust in support of the HSU Library and Redwood Capital Bank contributed a building to house the Natural History Museum.

On a whole, the California State University system also saw philanthropic giving increase by 36 percent, to $459.9 million last year.

Humboldt State University Advancement coordinates and conducts annual fundraising campaigns, facilitates major and planned gifts, directs the University’s alumni and constituent engagement program, and provides marketing and communications services to the campus community. The Humboldt State University Advancement Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of the university, ensures that donors’ generous contributions are well-managed and used as intended. For more information on University Advancement or how you can give, visit