Recently, the WSU Alumni Association announced its plan to achieve 40,000 members by 2020. The WSUAA calls its membership drive “40by20.” At a time when other alumni associations across the country are shrinking, Washington State Magazine wanted to know more about the association’s bold plan. Editor Larry Clark asked WSUAA 2018–19 President Ashley MacMillan ’05 about 40by20.


Larry: Hi, Ashley. Can you tell me a little more about the 40by20 membership drive? What is it, exactly?


Ashley: Over the summer, the WSUAA reached 32,608 members—an incredible new record for our organization. We decided to set a new goal for 40,000 members, engaging more Cougs than ever in support of WSU. At 40,000, we will have more than tripled the number of members in the WSUAA since we launched our drive in 2003. While other alumni associations across the country are decreasing in membership, we are excited at the momentum and support from our alumni. Which, in all honesty, does not surprise me because Cougs are the best!


Larry: Cougs do love to overachieve. So, what will the 40by20 campaign do?


Ashley: The 40by20 membership drive will dramatically expand the number of members in support of WSU. History has shown that Alumni Association members are more involved and back WSU at a higher level which really helps our alma mater. Our plan also expands the ways we connect alumni with WSU and with one another. The drive will add more activities including additional programming designed to help recent graduates transition from college to career. Cougs love to help other Cougs succeed, so we are working to leverage that fact to benefit more people who love WSU.


Larry: How can Cougs help?


Ashley: WSU is currently number three in the Pac-12 for the percent of alumni who are members, behind Stanford and Cal. That’s pretty good, but I know we can do better. So, if you are not a member, please join. If you are a member, ask your friends to join the WSUAA. The more alumni and friends we get to join the WSUAA, the closer we get to number one in the Pac-12!


Larry: Is there anything about this membership drive that you’re particularly excited about?


Ashley: Reaching 40,000 members will be beyond exciting! One of our motivations behind this drive is to bring together students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends in support of WSU. We want to thank them and showcase the impact they have on our University. One thing that I am very excited about, we have created an online mosaic for all members to upload their favorite WSU photographic memories and tell us about their love for our great University as a way for Cougs to share their pride! To upload photos, Cougs can go to to get started.


Larry: Is there anything you want to add?


Ashley: Go Cougs!