WSU Vancouver receives $2 million gift, first endowed chair

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 10:55am -- brenda_alling

VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Tod and Maxine McClaskey Foundation has given $2 million to establish an Endowed Chair in Hospitality Business Management in the Carson College of Business at Washington State University Vancouver. This is WSU Vancouver’s first endowed chair. The gift honors the late Tod McClaskey, founder of Red Lion Inn Hotels, and his wife, Maxine.

The McClaskey Foundation previously funded a faculty position for the first five years of WSU Vancouver’s School of Hospitality Business Management, which launched in 2013. It is part of the longstanding WSU School of Hospitality Business Management in Pullman, which ranks among the top 5 percent of such programs in the country.

“The McClaskey Foundation’s investment has allowed us to bring a quality program to our region and serve one of the fastest-growing tourism markets in the country—the Vancouver/Portland metropolitan area,” said Jennifer Miltenberger, director of development and alumni relations. “This historic gift enables WSU Vancouver to reaffirm and extend its commitment to the community.”

The Vancouver program offers a bachelor’s degree in hospitality business management. Students may also minor in hospitality business management or take classes to complement other degrees. All of the program’s graduates to date are employed in the hospitality industry, typically in leadership positions.

“This gift has been a wonderful way to honor my grandparents and to support WSU Vancouver’s leadership in developing partnerships with Clark College and the Skills Center. This program creates stronger pathways for students to transfer seamlessly and foster leadership growth for the hospitality and hotel industry,” said Jillian McClaskey Hagstrom, foundation board member.

Including this gift, the McClaskey Foundation has donated more than $4 million to WSU Vancouver. The foundation’s initial gift, in 2008, provided $1.5 million for early learning programs in the Child Development Program. That gift enabled the university to demonstrate the benefits of full-day kindergarten, which is now available through public schools in Clark County. The foundation has also supported scholarships and art education for the early learning program.

Tod and Maxine McClaskey established their foundation to support the communities they loved past their lifetimes. The foundation primarily supports health and education programs in Clark County.

About WSU Vancouver

As one of six campuses of the Washington State University system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. The university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations. 

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Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communications, 360-546-9601,

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