UW receives record $334M from donors

SEATTLE — The University of Washington raked in more private money last year than ever before, thanks in part to a big anonymous donation for need-based scholarships.

Contributions hit $334 million, a jump of 17 percent over the previous fiscal year, The Seattle Times reported Sunday.

Among all universities, that tally ranked 14th in the nation — less than Stanford, Harvard or Yale, but more than Cornell or the University of California at Berkeley.

Among the most generous donors have been philanthropists who made fortunes in the high-tech industry, she said.

Most of the money comes with strings attached and can only be used for certain purposes, such as for construction of a new building or to establish a new scholarship, but not for the day-to-day running of the university. For that reason, state cutbacks in education funding still concern administrators.

All the buildings on campus constructed since 1998 have been paid for largely through private donations, Kravas said. More than $46 million has been pledged so far toward the rebuilding of Husky Stadium, and more money will come from luxury-box sales and higher ticket prices.

A big share of the contributions goes to UW Medicine, and much of it is earmarked for research into specific diseases, scholarship funds for medical-school students, and capital funds to finish new buildings in South Lake Union. The arts also draw numerous contributions in the form of scholarships for students, Kravas said, and the law and business schools get substantial contributions as well.

The private-donation numbers, reported last week by the Council for Aid to Education, show contributions for the 2010-11 fiscal year, which ended June 30. The Husky Stadium campaign and an anonymous $17.5 million donation to help pay for scholarships for low-income students helped push the UW’s tally higher.

Among other state colleges, Washington State University received $149 million; Pacific Lutheran University, $28 million; Seattle University, $19 million; Gonzaga University, $14 million; Whitman College, $15 million; University of Puget Sound, $12 million; Walla Walla University, $7 million; Western Washington University, $4 million; Seattle Pacific University, $4 million; and Eastern Washington University, $2 million.

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