University Affairs

USU Announces $30 Million in Recent Gifts at 'Create Your Aggie Impact' Event on Wasatch Front

By Maren Aller |

Utah State University and the USU Foundation Board celebrated the resounding success of their ongoing Create Your Aggie Impact campaign during a special event at the Bastian Agricultural Center in South Jordan, Utah.

Showcasing the generosity of the USU community and its supporters, recent gifts totaling $30 million were announced. Utah State has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for a variety of impact initiatives across the Logan and Statewide Campuses since the campaign began in July 2019.

“We have established a strong foundation here at USU,” said Matt White, vice president for Advancement and president of the USU Foundation. “The university is poised to emerge as a leader in higher education, innovatively advancing our land-grant mission for the 21st century. The generous philanthropic contributions already received during this campaign are what distinguish our institution as exceptional.”

Numerous supporters of Utah State University came together for this pivotal event, demonstrating significant commitment across various sectors.

The Tom and Patty Willis family made substantial contributions to both USU Athletics and the new College of Veterinary Medicine, marking the largest donation received by the college to date.

The Janet Quinney Lawson Foundation reaffirmed its enduring support — and added to their initial $7 million gift that created the Janet Quinney Lawson Institute of Land, Water and Air — with funding for the Janet Quinney Lawson Endowed Chair in Colorado River Studies.

The Henry C. Jorgensen family made a pivotal gift to establish the S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources Endowed Chair in Wildlife, Range, and Ranch Management.

Mehdi Heravi, author of the newly released Comparative Political Systems, pledged to donate all proceeds from his book to USU's Heravi Peace Institute.

Additionally, the Paul T. Walton Charitable Foundation funded the creation of the Talmage Arena at the Bastian Agricultural Center.

Highlighting the Create Your Aggie Impact fundraising campaign event, two transformative $10 million donations were announced to kick off USU Athletics’ ambitious $125 million “Reach and Rise” initiative. These foundational gifts to USU Athletics came from the Blake Kirby family and an anonymous benefactor. Kirby and his family have pledged another $2.5 million to support a variety of additional USU initiatives, including the Phil Swenson Chair in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

Create Your Aggie Impact is a university-wide, initiative-driven fundraising campaign to accelerate student access and opportunity, elevate the educational experience, develop solutions to the world's challenges and cultivate a university of distinction. The campaign has already garnered more than 120,000 gifts from over 22,000 donors for various initiatives throughout all impact areas. Student access and opportunity initiatives alone, have brought in more than $86 million in donations so far. The new impact-focused campaign builds upon the strong foundation of USU’s previous $500 million comprehensive campaign, which spanned nine years and ended in 2012.

The evening was filled with a series of highlights celebrating the university’s accomplishments and innovative initiatives:

Celebrate the Outstanding Accomplishments of Our Student Athletes Through Virtual Reality

Guests were transported into the world of USU’s stellar student athletes through the magic of virtual reality. This immersive experience allowed attendees to witness firsthand the dedication, hard work and triumphs of USU athletes, making it a memorable part of the evening.

Explore USU’s Innovative Partnership With the Space Dynamics Lab

Attendees had the unique opportunity to delve into USU’s cutting-edge partnership with its Space Dynamics Lab. This collaboration is at the forefront of space research and technology, exemplifying the university's commitment to pioneering advancements and its role in shaping the future of space exploration.

Journey Through Community Outreach STEM and 4H Programs

The event also highlighted USU’s impactful community outreach through its STEM and 4H programs, including USU Extension. Guests explored how these programs are fostering a love for science, technology, engineering and mathematics among young people and empowering them with valuable skills and knowledge.

Witness USU’s Exciting Undergraduate Research Initiatives

USU’s commitment to undergraduate research was showcased through engaging presentations and exhibits. Attendees witnessed the innovative projects and discoveries being made by USU’s talented undergraduate students, underscoring the institution’s dedication to academic excellence and research.

The evening was a true celebration of USU’s spirit and achievements, bringing together alumni, donors, faculty and friends in a joyous and festive atmosphere.

USU President Elizabeth Cantwell expressed heartfelt gratitude to all who are contributing to the campaign’s success.

“The overwhelming support we’ve received throughout the last couple of years is a testament to the strong faith in our vision and the impact USU has on our students, community and beyond,” Cantwell said. “Together, we are making a difference and shaping a brighter future.”

To Create Your Aggie Impact, visit

View the event video.

View event photos.


Maren Aller
Senior Writer
(435) 797-1355


Janette Robbins
Associate Vice President of Strategic Communications


Extension 469stories Statewide Campuses 362stories Alumni 190stories Aggies 149stories Giving 85stories Access 64stories

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