Our Stories

Sharing our Forever Green stories and updates

siloueted students sitting on the grass with the clocktower in the background

Forever Impactful

Enjoy stories featuring students, alumni, college programs, and more supported by the campaign.


Press Release

July 11, 2024

Fiercely Ambitious: Evergreen Raises $62.5 Million in First-Ever College-Wide Fundraising Campaign

Built for Times Like These, Built for What’s Next

OLYMPIA — The Evergreen State College, in partnership with The Evergreen State College Foundation, proudly announces the success of its inaugural comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Forever Green.” The campaign concluded on June 30, 2024, having exceeded its initial $55+ million goal three months early and raising an impressive $62,469,046 to fulfill the College’s potential and propel it into its next 50 years.

The "Forever Green" campaign began with a silent phase in July 2019, two years before Evergreen’s 50th anniversary. It was publicly launched in March 2023, inviting the power of community giving to join the effort. Over 4,000 alumni and friends came together nationwide to contribute a total of 15,835 gifts, grants and estate commitments. Of those who gave, 1,161 made a gift for the first time. This remarkable achievement underscores the Evergreen community's commitment to supporting liberal arts in higher education and removing barriers for students.

The funds raised support three strategic priorities, including $36.1 million to expand holistic services and financial aid for students, empowering diverse thinkers, doers, and voices to lead the future. Another $18.4 million creates learning experiences that prepare students to solve problems in our economy, strengthen democracy and justice, address climate change and environmental issues, and champion the arts. Additionally, $7.9 million promotes Native arts and cultures in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, with the leadership of Evergreen’s longhouse, s’gwi gwi ? altxw: House of Welcome.

President John Carmichael expressed his gratitude, saying, "I’m tremendously grateful for the way that people have rallied to this campaign. It shows the high regard that people have for Evergreen. Their generosity is already making a difference for students and ensures that the College can continue serving our community for many years to come."

We Are Positioned Better Than Ever to Thrive

The campaign's impact across its priorities has been extraordinary thanks to an overwhelming community response. Donors of all giving levels from $5+ have significantly increased the student aid budget by 66% and the average scholarship award by 16%. As a result, new awards, like the Returning Greeners Scholarship, were created to bring back students who faced financial hardship and had to discontinue their education.

Alumni generosity helped create the Center for Climate Action and Sustainability, an innovative hub empowering students and environmental leaders. Alumni giving also expanded athletics to include men's and women's wrestling and cross-country programs. Additionally, an anonymous graduate's generous pledge of $1 million established the Resilience Fund for student support initiatives.

16 new endowments established by dedicated supporters of the College's vision are driving Evergreen's future. In 2024, an early alumnus pledged over $400,000 to create the first unrestricted Evergreen Fund Endowment, supporting critical strategic needs. The Coordinated Studies Endowment, initiated by Faculty Emerita Jeanne Hahn, will ensure the continuity of team-taught curricula and faculty projects. Additionally, a new House of Welcome Endowment will provide sustained support for Native programs, facilities, and staff.

The impact of grants has also been substantial. The College secured two federal grants totaling $1 million to support low-income parenting students with direct childcare subsidies and obtained funding to launch and staff the Student Basic Needs Center. Additionally, the TRIO Student Support Services programs saw a more than 50% increase in the number of students served, rising from 180 to 280. The House of Welcome received two grants totaling $4.8 million to assist other colleges and universities in working with tribes to support Native arts and cultures. Furthermore, a $2.2 million Title III grant was awarded to enhance comprehensive advising and improve student access to advising and support through technology.

In addition to its fundraising achievements, the campaign facilitated increased alumni engagement through events. Notably, new initiatives like “Greener Meets” convened alumni in Seattle, Olympia, Eastern Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tacoma, Portland, and New York City, fostering a stronger sense of community across the Evergreen network.

"It’s thrilling to have such a successful first campaign, especially considering the challenges we experienced along the way. Who would have guessed that a global pandemic would hit in our first year of the campaign? I am truly inspired by the outpouring of support from our community—it fills me with hope for a bright future for Evergreen," said Abby Kelso, Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of Evergreen’s Foundation.

The leadership of the Foundation’s Board of Governors has been instrumental in the campaign's success. Betsy Donnelly, a parent of an Evergreen graduate and the board’s chair during the final year, stated, “The success of the Forever Green campaign is a testament to the collective efforts and dedication of our Board of Governors.” She highlighted, “Diverse perspectives have brought fresh ideas and meaningful discussions, enhancing our mission to support students and showcase Evergreen's contributions.” Donnelly also noted, “Genuine camaraderie, friendly competition, and personal contributions have been crucial in achieving our fundraising and engagement targets. I am most proud of the board's unwavering commitment and their ability to inspire others to secure the success of current and future students.”

While Forever Green has concluded, the victory lap has just begun. During the 2024-2025 academic year the College and Foundation will embark on a celebratory “Gratitude Phase” to share the impact of the campaign far and wide and honor the community that made this historic achievement possible.

For more information about the “Forever Green” campaign and to read more stories of impact, please visit www.evergreen.edu/forevergreen.

Climate Crisis Action

Christy Holz ’78 and Tim Ball ’80 donated $1 million to fuel work on climate issues and launch the Center for Climate Action and Sustainability.

A Legacy for Raquel

Dolly England ’05, was deeply impacted by Raquel Salinas ’91, MiT ’96, Coordinator of Student Support Programs at Evergreen.

Paying it Forward

Marcia Mueller MES ’94 embodies "paying it forward" through a generous $1.5 million scholarship legacy gift to Evergreen.

$3.1 Million for TRIO

Two U.S. Dept. of Education TRIO grants, totaling $3.1 million will support nearly 300 first-generation, low-income, and disabled students.

Forever Green Campaign

Evergreen Launches $55+ Million-Dollar Forever Green Campaign to Expand Possibilities for Students.

thumbnail image of evergreen fund report
The Evergreen Fund Impact Report 2022-2023

The Evergreen Fund Impact Report 2022-2023

The Evergreen Fund is the cornerstone of The Evergreen State College Foundation. Your efforts through the Evergreen Fund have a tremendous impact on Evergreen students.

The Evergreen Fund 2022-2023 (PDF)

We were built for times like these, built for what's next. At Evergreen, we will forever go our own way, but we can only do it together.