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Office of News & 
Information Services 
Washington State University 
Pullman, WA 99164-1040  
Phone: 509/335-3581  
FAX: 509/335-2220  


November 5, 1999

MEDIA CONTACT: Cassie McVeety 360/546-9601,

Firstenburg Family Gift Announced at WSU Vancouver

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Ed and Mary Firstenburg, through the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, have given $500,000 to Washington State University Vancouver to create the Firstenburg Family Fountain on the campus plaza. The gift announcement and unveiling of the fountain model will occur at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at WSU Vancouver, Library Building, Room 201.

The Firstenburg Family Fountain will be a four-quadrant water feature showcasing native basalt stones. It is located in the center of campus at the convergence of the two main view corridors of Mt. St. Helen’s and Mt. Hood. The Fountain is encircled by a series of intermittent basalt stone benches.

Designed by campus architects Zimmer Gunsul Frasca of Portland, the plaza will be redesigned to focus upon the fountain, and will use materials native to the region. The fountain and plaza development will create a year-round, usable space that will serve thousands of students, faculty and staff on the campus.

"This is a permanent legacy for the Firstenburg family and for WSU Vancouver," notes Campus Executive Officer and Dean Hal Dengerink. "The Firstenburg Family Fountain will be a community landmark recognizable to all of southwest Washington as a gathering place for our community. We are truly grateful to the Firstenburgs and the Community Foundation for their generosity."

The Firstenburg family owns and operates First Independent Bank. Ed Firstenburg joined the bank in 1936 when it was Ridgefield State Bank, founded in 1910. Today, First Independent Bank has 20 offices throughout Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania and Klickitat counties. The bank has $500 million in assets, and is now the largest privately owned financial institution in Washington. Son William Firstenburg, president of First Independent Bank, serves on the WSU Vancouver Advisory Council.

WSU Vancouver is celebrating its 10th year within the WSU system, and provides junior-, senior- and graduate-level courses leading to 13 bachelor's and seven master's degrees to over 1,500 students. The campus is located on 351 acres seven miles north of the Vancouver/Portland metropolitan area.


Editor’s Note: Fountain renderings are available. Contact Cassie McVeety for more information at 360/546-9601.

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