The foundation drew inspiration from the 1885 philanthropic offering of George and Martha Wilson of 15 acres of land to create the Tempe Normal School, which would later become Arizona State University. These “first” donors to ASU were recognized in 1956 with the naming of a new women’s residence facility, George W. Wilson Hall.
The Arizona State Teachers College, as ASU was known in the 1930s, relied on the Bulldog Boosters organization for private support of its athletic programs. In the mid-1940s, the fundraising group changed its name to Sun Angels, concurrent with the renaming of the college’s mascot to the Sun Devils.
In 1947, Grady Gammage, president of the newly named Arizona State College, established the Agricultural Advisory Council to advocate for and raise funds on behalf of the school’s agricultural activities. In 1955, the council was incorporated and renamed the Arizona State College Foundation, with its philanthropic mission broadened to serve the entire college.
A state referendum in 1958 renamed the college Arizona State University, with a concomitant name change for the foundation to Arizona State University Foundation, more commonly referred to as the ASU Foundation. In 2008, the foundation was renamed the Arizona State University Foundation for A New American University to reflect the vision laid out for the university by President Michael Crow.
As of July 1, 2016, the ASU Foundation for A New American University underwent a restructuring to create ASU Enterprise Partners, which comprises five resource-raising entities, including the foundation, which maintains its focus on philanthropy and development on behalf of ASU.