Originally from Wayne, Neb., Giese joined the CAHNRS development team in November 2017 after a career spanning multiple institutions. He is a former Washington State University vice president for development, past director of WSU Corporate and Foundation Relations, and former assistant dean in the College of Business and Economics. Giese also led university development programs at the University of Montana, Kansas State University, the University of Oregon, and Wayne State College.
At CAHNRS, Giese provided leadership to the development team while personally raising more than $12 million in philanthropic donations. He developed relationships that helped fund projects in the WSU Viticulture and Enology Program, including the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center teaching lab, scholarships, and research support.
“I want to thank the faculty, staff and administration of the college that have been involved in this work,” Giese said. “Their contributions have been critical to our success in fundraising. I’d particularly like to thank the Washington tree fruit, wine, potato, and grains commissions for their investments in the college and the university. Their members and administration have a tremendous impact on research that benefits the state.”
A major accomplishment was in securing funding for the planned Distinguished Endowed Chair in Soil Health for Irrigated Cropping Systems. Giese developed and maintained key relationships that led to multiple corporate and individual gifts in support of this endowed position, which will provide long-term benefits to the potato industry.
“Shane played such a key role in helping us secure the funding for our endowed chair,” said Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission. “We know a lot about growing potatoes, but we know so little about the soil we grow them in. This position will help us better manage the biology and chemistry of the soil to better meet the needs of our farmers and our customers.
“Potato growing and processing are highly competitive businesses,” he added. “Shane was able to bring competitors into the same room and show them the benefit of working together, for the betterment of everyone.”
“Philanthropy plays an extremely important role in making society-benefiting research and life-changing learning experiences happen in CAHNRS, and Shane has been a big part of that success,” said André-Denis Wright, dean of CAHNRS. “As senior director, he has brought in significant donations and built lasting, impactful relationships with key stakeholders and donors. Please join me in wishing him the best in his retirement.”