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UI Sees $38.7 Million in Donations in Biggest Fundraising Year Ever

September 05, 2017

The University of Idaho saw its most successful fundraising year in its 128-year history for fiscal year 2017, receiving more than $38.7 million in gifts and commitments.

Coming from individual donors, corporations and nonprofit organizations, the donations support scholarships, research efforts and programs at UI, making higher education more accessible for Idaho students and strengthening UI’s place as Idaho’s leading research institution. The donations also support key building projects at the university, including the Idaho Arena.

“Private support provides the critical margin of excellence for so much of what we do at the University of Idaho,” said President Chuck Staben. “I’m thrilled so many supporters of the university continue to invest in the aspirations of our students and the excellence of our university. Our students and programs also fulfill the dreams of our donors – to make a difference.”

For the 2017-18 academic year, UI awarded more than $25 million in scholarship support to over 6,800 undergraduate students. About 4,700 of those students are from Idaho, receiving $12.8 million in scholarships. 

“Scholarships played a big role in my decision to come to UI,” said Dishonna Arnett of Lewiston, who received the Story Family Scholarship this year. The scholarship was established by UI alumni Charles and Patricia Story and their daughter, Karen Story Snow, to support students pursuing a degree in the College of Business and Economics (CBE). The Storys recognized the financial challenges of obtaining a college degree and directed the scholarship to be awarded to students who have a financial need. 

“Receiving the Story Family Scholarship was such good news. It put my mind at rest and let me focus on school work and getting my two degrees,” said Arnett, a junior studying finance in CBE and international studies in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. “It was such a relief not to have to take out loans — a blessing, I’d say.” Arnett is planning a career in finance and learning Japanese to aid her in working internationally.  

In addition to individual donors, corporations and nonprofits made nearly $15 million in gifts and commitments to the university. Idaho organizations that made financial gifts include Fatbeam, Idaho Wheat Commission, Idaho Potato Commission, Idaho Power, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, J.R. Simplot Co., Micron Technology and St. Luke’s Health System. 

Of the $38 million raised, $6.6 million is marked to support research in UI programs including cybersecurity, agricultural science and the humanities.

“Our donors invest in the university because we prepare students to succeed in their careers after college and our research drives economic development throughout Idaho and beyond,” said Mary Kay McFadden, vice president for University Advancement. “We’re grateful for their support and partnership.”

Most private contributions to UI are managed and distributed by the University of Idaho Foundation Inc., the largest institutionally related charitable organization in Idaho. The foundation distributes funds to support scholarships, research, faculty, programs and building projects.

For more information about the University of Idaho Foundation Inc, go to

Media Contact
Jamie Wagner
Director, Advancement Communications, University Advancement

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more: