Giving Opportunities

Your gift makes a Difference

Greetings and thank you for your interest in donating to the School of Molecular Biosciences. As the new director of the School I am very impressed by the history of our School’s research and teaching enterprise. Recently, I met with Dr. Herb Nakata, one of the former chairs of the departments that came together to form our School more than a decade ago.  Herb was chair of Microbiology and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation where he outlined the successes of our Microbiology alumni. We also have a storied history in Biochemistry and Genetics/Cell Biology and I welcome hearing from alumni who are graduates from all of our degree programs. Today, our faculty are actively undertaking state of the art research in our new building on the WSU campus. We continue to have research focuses in Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Microbiology. The faculty is also busy training the next crop of scientists. Please drop by and visit us. We will be pleased to welcome you!

Biotechnology Development Fund -

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Melva Jean Kinch Breffeilh Memorial Scholarship -

Melva’s family created this scholarship in her memory. As a young student, “Mel” (1921-1996) graduated from WSU in 1944 and became a medical technologist. She wanted to do something different; therefore she chose the field of science in which to pursue her degree. Her laboratory experiences in Saudi Arabia during WW II and Venezuela helped her to fulfill this dream. 

  • Certified major in microbiology
  • Female
  • Demonstrated academic achievement  

Scholarship Recipients: Gianne Souza (2010), Abigail Moody (2011), Elizabeth Laws (2012), Sharayah Wahl (2013), Alexandra Bartoski (2014), Kara Beseler (2015), Jenna Gregory (2016), Chasity Trammell (2017), Marissa Leupold (2017), Savanah Sitton (2018), Alida Melse (2019), Alyssa Eliopolous (2020)

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Victor Burke Memorial Endowment -

Dr. Burke came to Washington State College in 1921 as an Assistant Professor of Bacteriology within the Botany Department.  He became Professor of Bacteriology in 1924 and in 1925 was made Head of the Department of Bacteriology, a position he held for the following 22 years. The first Ph.D. degree granted by WSC was awarded to a student working under his direction.  He strove to teach his students to think and to reason, as well as train them thoroughly in research methods.

Awarded to Graduate Students doing research in Medical Microbiology or to purchase specialized equipment to carry out such research.

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Alice Lloyd Diers and William E. Diers Microbiology Student Endowment -

This scholarship was created by Bill Retelle in 2001, as a memorial to his dear friends, Alice (1911-2000) and William Diers (1910-1969). Bill and William were fishing buddies and lifelong friends. After William’s death in 1969, Bill continued to care for his friend Alice until her death in 2000. 

  • Deserving students in microbiology (certified majors)
  • Preference to those students with financial need

Scholarship Recipients: Kimberly Ellis (2010), Marie Smith (2010), Katherine Rempe (2010), Xin Wei (2010), Pierce Claassen (2019), Olivia Dietrich (2018), Jordan Bolen (2019), Marissa Watanabe (2019)

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Alice L. Diers Bacteriology Enrichment Fund -

Alice (1911-2000) received her BS in 1931 from WSU in Bacteriology. Growing up on a Palouse wheat farm, Alice’s mother was determined to send her to college. Alice’s independent spirit served her well as she worked in pathological labs across the Northwest, including Alaska; where she met her husband William. Alice established this fund in 1983 to foster the quality of education and research within the microbiology degree program. 

  • Certified major in microbiology

Scholarship Recipients: Ryan Schindler (2010), Timothy Gay (2010), Elizabeth Laws (2011), Melody Fulton (2011), Nicole Clark (2013), Mary Vallejo (2013), Miles Linde (2014), Keesha Matz (2016), Yeme Bishaw (2018), Jennie Giron (2018)

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Charles and Audrey Drake Fellowship in Honor of Dr. A.T. Henrici -

Dr. Charles H. Drake received his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, his major professor and mentor was the great American microbiologist Dr. Arthur T. Henrici. Dr. Drake came to Washington State College and joined the Department of Bacteriology and Public Health. Although he was known for his research interests and roots with Dr. Henrici, Dr. Drake’s overriding essence was his exposure of thousands of students to the wonders of microbiology in his Bacteriology 101 course. He was the quintessential eccentric professor who enlivens the college experience for students and opens their minds, as well as an extraordinarily articulate lecturer which was reflected in his teaching as his course was always filled to capacity.

Established to provide fellowships for pre- and post-doctoral appointees to conduct research requiring field studies in microbial ecology. Funds to support fellowships and/or research needs requiring field studies will be awarded to promising researchers in microbial ecology as well as in other areas (such as in botany, cell biology, ecology, genetics, parasitology, plant pathology, veterinary medicine, zoology, etc.).

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L.W. Engels Student Loan Fund -

Mr. Engles ( -1987) graduated from WSU in 1930, and left half of his estate to help students in Microbiology. Loraine remembers having little money as a student at Washington State College and wanted to help future students. The fund is available to assist students who have unexpected expenses and need a quick loan.

  • Certified major in SMB
  • Recipients are encouraged to pay the fund back as finances allow

Scholarship Recipients: 2 students (2010), 2 students (2011), 1 student (2012), 1 student (2013)

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Stephen P. A. Fodor and Janelle Benoit Graduate Fellowship for the School of Molecular Biosciences -

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Genetics Development Fund -

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Bruce Gibbins Graduate Travel Fellowship in the School of Molecular Biosciences -

As a graduate student at WSU, Dr. Gibbins personally benefited from Professor Herb Nakata's efforts to scrape together and scrounge cash from all kinds of sources to make sure the department's graduate students were able to travel to conferences. These conferences provided students exposure to the breadth of the scientific community, the work of national peers, and critical feedback on their own projects. Dr. Gibbins believes these travel opportunities made a major contribution to his ultimate success in the sciences.

Awarded to fund Graduate Student travel to conferences or scientific meetings for one or more students in MBioS.

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To make a gift by mail:

Please make check payable to the WSU Foundation and send to:

Anna Wheatley
PO Box 647010
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-7010

For questions about giving, contact:
Anna Wheatley, Assistant Director of Development
509-335-5389 or

Washington State University