Utah State University

John and Karen Huntsman

Jon M. and Karen Huntsman donated $26 million in December 2007 to create the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

Swaner Eco Center

The Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, valued at more than $30 million, was gifted to USU in January 2010 by Leland and Paula Swaner. The Preserve and EcoCenter consists of a 1,200-acre land trust in the Snyderville Basin near Park City, Utah and a 10,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility dedicated to environmental education.

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USU students have also added to the campaign's success. The senior gift tradition, started in 1909, continues to raise funds from USU seniors who want to contribute to a commemorative project dedicated to their year of graduation.


53,785 donors

Alumni, friends and super heroes reaching beyond themselves to make a gift.

More than 53,000 Utah State University students, faculty, staff, friends, alumni, corporations and foundations gathered together over the course of the campaign to make various contributions ranging from in-kind gifts to multi-million dollar donations. Collectively these donors have made a monumental impact on the university forever changing the course of its future as a flagship land-grant research institution. The donations impacted USU's presence throughout the state and allowed it to increase its offerings in education, teach students in better-equipped facilities and to hire and retain the best faculty and researchers in the nation.

Several donors and their impact on the campaign's success became newsworthy and made headlines over the years. Some of these included:

  • "USU Performance Hall: Chamber-Music Heaven," Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 2006, after the opening of the Kathryn Caine Wanlass Manon Caine Russell Performance Hall on the USU campus.
  • "Generous USU Grad True to His School," Deseret Morning News, Oct. 2007, regarding Marc and Debbie Bingham's gift to fund the Bingham Entrepreneurship and Energy Research Center on the USU Uintah Basin campus.
  • "Utah State to Receive Largest Donation in School History," KSL Channel 5 News, Nov. 2007, on the announcement of Jon M. and Karen Huntsman's gift in December 2007 for the College of Business.
  • "Brand New Name," Herald Journal, April 2008, after the Emma Eccles Jones Foundation donated funds to USU's College of Education and Human Services to become the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services.
  • "Engineering Building Will Bear Sant's Name," Daily Herald, May 2008, for USU College of Engineering alum David G. Sant's donation to build the Sant Engineering Innovation Building.
  • "Academics Complex a Boost to Aggie Athletics," KSL Channel 5 News, Oct. 2008, after the unveiling of the Jim and Carol Laub Athletics-Academics Complex at the north end of Romney Stadium.
  • "Foundation Gives Park City Nature Preserve to USU," Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 2010, in response to USU receiving the 1,200-acre Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter.
  • "USU Renames College of Natural Resources to Honor Quinney Donors," Herald Journal, Sept. 2012, for the gift USU received from the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation for the College of Natural Resources.

And while several donations became news, cumulatively, it was the thousands of smaller donations over the years that made a big difference. Utah State University employees, faculty and administrators gave back to the institution in increasing numbers despite the tough economic climate. The funds were used to help students pay tuition and travel to special events, upgrade classrooms and labs and purchase additional library resources.

USU students have also added to the campaign's success. The senior gift tradition, started in 1909, continues to raise funds from USU seniors who want to contribute to a commemorative project dedicated to their year of graduation. Various projects over the years have included a bench on Old Main Hill, a study room in the library and the USU sign at the entrance to campus on 400 North.

Friends and alumni of the university have also contributed in various ways to the campaign. From high-dollar gifts to in-kind donations, friends and alumni rallied around the cause. USU alum and President and CEO of Nike Charlie Denson lent his Nike artistic gurus to help USU Athletics create a new logo unveiled in April 2012. In 2007, the USU Museum of Anthropology was the recipient of a stone figurine from the estate of Lyman S. and Vivian B. Willardson. The rare figure benefits the USU students who use the collection for study and interpretive exhibits and also benefits the many students who come to the museum on field trips to learn from exhibits. Vernal resident Bob Williams donated a large amount of land to USU in 2008 for what is now the USU Uintah Basin campus.

Corporations also saw the value of investing in Utah State University. Several local and national corporations ranging from Zions Bank to Alliant Techsystems to Micron have donated to the cause, boosting the campaign's overall success.