Philanthropists of the Year
The Philanthropists of the Year Award celebrates those whose generosity and philanthropic leadership further Arizona State University’s mission. Those recognized by this honor are exemplars of how individual giving can have a meaningful impact on social issues and people’s lives.
Because of their unsurpassed generosity, donors to Campaign ASU 2020 are the 2021 Arizona State University Founders’ Day Philanthropists of the Year.
A decade ago, ASU launched the universitywide fundraising campaign to unite our growing body of supporters around the idea that, together, we can improve lives and influence society for the better.
More than 350,600 supporters raised $2.3 billion to fuel ASU's innovative, world-changing educational model that serves students, local and global communities, existing businesses and rising entrepreneurs.
Their gifts powered many breakthroughs and successes and laid the groundwork for a future full of possibilities.
The spirit of community and generosity so evident in campaign donors has galvanized ASU’s progress since its founding in the spring of 1885. That’s when a young territorial legislator named John S. Armstrong introduced House Bill No. 164, “An Act to Establish a Normal School in the Territory of Arizona” in Tempe.
The people of the area had long known they needed an educational institution in the heart of the Valley. Thanks to Armstrong’s political acumen, they got their funding. Now all they needed was land to build it on.
Tempe citizens came together at a town meeting, where local meat shop owners George and Martha Wilson donated their entire pasture as a site for the new school. Then the citizens got busy rounding up material to build it.
That school would grow into the ASU we know today, a leading and internationally renowned public research university.