Donors Open Up Possibilities for Humboldt State Students

Dec, 2018
Students in the field

December 20, 2018—We have one thing to say to HSU donors: You are incredible! There are so many ways you supported education last year. 

From July 2017 to June 2018, gifts from alumni, parents, friends, and community members provided hundreds of HSU students the resources to learn and focus on their futures.   

During that time, donors gave $5.8 million to support education, community service, and research programs. Over $1.9 million in donor funding was provided for student support, including academic mentoring, food security, and numerous projects that enhanced hands-on learning. Student support also came in the form of scholarships, awards, internships, and assistantship opportunities for more than 560 students.

Donor-funded projects included technology and equipment upgrades such as new media display equipment for the Zoology program; remodeled study spaces for students in Mathematics, Environmental Resources Engineering, and Psychology; and the creation of an interactive mapping website to help students access affordable food and housing. Donors also provided funding to update the College of Natural Resources & Sciences’ Core Research Facility, upgrade the sculpture lab, rebuild the Department of Music’s Steinway piano, and purchase test bikes for the Department of Kinesiology & Recreation Administration for exercise science research.

Additionally, donors strengthened experiential and field learning opportunities, such as studying the impact of high-intensity forest fires. The Department of Psychology also received funding so that graduate students can provide affordable disability assessments for students on campus.

Some notable gifts from 2017-18 included:

  • A contribution of $31,684 From Glen Atkinson (’63, Economics) to create the Atkinson Economics Student Workspace Fund, which makes computer and equipment upgrades to the Economics study area in Siemens Hall. Glen also created the Atkinson Family Library Scholar Internship, which provideswork experience preserving University and local history in HSU’s Library Special Collections.
  • The Crankstart Foundation, a Bay Area non-profit, provided a $50,000 grant to support HSU transfer students. The grant will provide ten $2,500 Crankstart Scholarships each year for two years.
  • HSU Biology professors Patty Siering and Mark Wilson established the Siering/ Wilson Research Endowment, which encourages undergraduate research in microbial ecology. Patty passed away in 2017 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, but not before leaving a legacy that will support future generations of students.
  • Carla G. Powell established the Carla (Petersen) Powell Voice Scholarship Endowment Fund in 2000 and supported the fund with annual contributions. When Carla passed away this year at the age of 100, she left a bequest of $67,947 to permanently endow the scholarship. It is the only scholarship devoted to voice students.
  • The James F. Welsh Biology Scholarship honors Kathleen Welsh’s father, retired HSU Professor James F. Welsh, and his dedication to teaching. The $154,000 gift from Kathleen created an endowment to fund two annual scholarships for Biology students pursuing a graduate degree.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, HSU students are obtaining the tools and experiences they need to create a better world and a brighter future.

To learn more about giving opportunities at Humboldt State University, you can visit, call 707.826.5101 or send an email to To support HSU students, you can search for, and make a gift to, your favorite program here.

For more details, read the full 2017-18 donor report here.