How to Establish a Scholarship

Scholarships may be designated to a particular college, department, or program, and they may be named in memory or in honor of someone, after the organization or person establishing the scholarship. They can be an effective tool for recruiting promising freshmen and retaining accomplished students. Scholarships are awarded each spring, and the donors receive a thank-you note and an invitation to a banquet with the recipients.

Scholarship setup step-by-step:

  1. Determine the name of your scholarship and type of student you’d like to support (criteria).
  2. Your WWU Scholarship Contact will draft a scholarship agreement for your review and signature. Our preference is to have the agreement completed by March 1, 2023 to ensure it can be awarded for the 2023-24 school year.
  3. Your scholarship will be advertised by WWU (typically in March and April) of each year.
  4. A selection committee will review applications and choose the best candidate to receive your scholarship.
  5. You will receive a thank-you letter and information about your student.
  6. If possible, please make your scholarship gift by March 1, 2023.
  7. Your scholarship will be applied directly to the student’s account during the 2023-24 school year.
  8. You will receive an invitation to meet your scholar at our annual banquet which is typically held during Winter Quarter. 

Annual Scholarships

Annual scholarships may be established with a gift of $2,000 or more per year, with a preferred commitment of five years. Tuition and fees average over $8,000 a year, but with room, board and books, the cost of attending Western is estimated to be $25,000 per year. The more a donor is able to contribute on an annual basis, the bigger the impact of support.

Endowed Scholarship

You can have your own fund that supports students in perpetuity! By setting up an endowment fund, your gift keeps on giving year after year. Endowments provide permanent, sustainable funding for scholarships. Scholarships are awarded out of this account in perpetuity via an allocation from the interest earnings each year. The typical allocation from an endowment is 4% at WWU. Interest earned above this amount is reinvested into the endowed scholarship fund to help it grow, minus a 1.5% gift assessment and a 0.30% investment management fee to help with administration of the fund. A minimum of $25,000 is required at Western Washington University to establish an endowed scholarship, which would provide a $1,000 award and grow over time. The larger the endowment, the larger the annual scholarship award. If the initial intent is to establish an endowment, gifts can be made over five years after the establishment of the account to allow donations to total $25,000 or more.


Excellence in education at Western begins with our faculty members. Support for our faculty enables us to recruit and retain passionate researchers, insightful scholars, and inspiring teachers. Whether you fund a research endeavor, endow a chair, or send faculty to a conference, your donation works on behalf of the entire Western community. 

Endowed Chairs

An endowed chair is the highest academic award a university bestows on a faculty member, and its legacy is lasting. When you place your name on an endowed chair, you are giving a gift that will last as long as Western exists. Support for an endowed chair comes from invested funds. 

Endowed Professorships

Named professorships recognize outstanding faculty members. A professorship can be department-specific, or in a broader area like environmental sustainability. 

David Cole Professor of Entrepreneurship

Wilder Distinguished Professor of Business and Sustainability

Ada G. Walter Distinguished Professorship of Music

Visiting Professorships

Not only does Western value the talent we have here on campus, we value the expertise of scholars who bring their intellectual resources to our community. By giving guest lectures, teaching, engaging in research, and collaborating with our faculty, they enrich our campus and deepen our students' engagement with their own work. 

Faculty Fellowships

Conference travel, primary research, a new curriculum—professors have many fundamental financial needs that, if filled, allow for excellent opportunities for the entire Western community. 

Gifts can be made online at or with a check made payable to the WWU Foundation and sent to:

WWU Foundation
MS 9034
516 High Street
Bellingham, WA 98225-9034