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Academic Enrichment

Toyota Joins Dominguez Hills to Build Mobile Fab Labs 

With the help of California State University, Dominguez Hills alumnus, Michael Rouse, Toyota committed $750,000 and provided four custom-built Tundra trucks to support the university’s Mobile Fab Lab project and STEM education. 

The W.M. Keck Foundation, a leader in ensuring STEM education throughout Los Angeles, donated $300,000 to the project. 

CSU Dominguez Hills will have the first Mobile Fab Lab fleet in the greater Los Angeles area and will serve as a model for other universities and organizations to follow. Created by MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, Fab Labs – short for Fabrication Laboratory – are innovative and accessible spaces where students, faculty and community members can learn how to create virtually anything through design software, lasercutters and 3D printers. 

Rouse, who recently retired as vice president at Toyota Motor Sales and president of the Toyota USA Foundation, helped develop the strong relationship between the automaker and the university as a board member of the CSUDH Foundation. 

Estate Gifts Make Lasting Impact 

Endowed funds were received from the estate of Hazel Cramer to establish the first endowed chair at California State University, Sacramento. Part of a $4 million trust, funds were given to secure a renowned expert in public policy and administration, the first position of its kind in the university’s seventy-year history. 

Emeritus Professor Thomas D. Swift, who passed away in 2016, established an endowment to fund six scholarships for students in history, Asian and Asian American studies, government and journalism, and environmental studies at Sacramento State. Through his generous legacy, a travel scholarship to Japan was also established for students with a minor in Japanese. 

The estate of Thelma Antoinette Ryan, Ph.D., has established the T.A. Ryan Endowed Faculty Development Fund at Sacramento State through a gift of over $300,000. The development fund – the largest of its kind on campus – will honor the legacy of Dr. Ryan through the funding of research and faculty development in support of the Sacramento State Division of Criminal Justice.

Building Places, Fortifying Legacies 

The Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex at San Diego State University has benefited from the incredible generosity of three forwardthinking leaders in the Aztec community, including two alumni. 

San Diego State alumnus Edward J. Brown, Jr. (College of Engineering, ’79) facilitated a $1 million gift to the university on behalf of his company, Cymer LLC. In honor of the company’s generosity, SDSU named the entrance space to the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex – utilized by students, faculty and staff as a place to meet, study and relax – as Cymer Plaza

Cymer LLC – of which Brown is president and chief operating officer – is a longtime employer and internship provider to SDSU students. In 2012, the company gave $300,000 to the SDSU to upgrade the Doc Morris Lab, a core part of the university’s physics program. In addition, Cymer LLC has supported numerous student projects in engineering, computer sciences and physics. 

A $4 million gift to SDSU from the Moxie Foundation – led by CEO and chairman, Irwin Zahn – will be used to create and endow the Zahn Innovation Platform (ZIP), a campus-wide hub for cross-discipline collaboration, creative problem solving, exploration of new ideas and the launch of new ventures. As part of the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex, ZIP will house three different components designed for the university community to interact in the ethos of innovation: the ZIP Launchpad, ZIP Lab, and ZIP Lounge. 

Irwin Zahn is the founding donor of the Zahn Innovation Center at SDSU and the chairman and CEO of the Moxie Foundation. ZIP is part of a larger $5.125 million commitment from the Zahn family and the Moxie Foundation to SDSU. 

SDSU honored longtime champion and supporter, Terry Atkinson, with the naming of Terry Atkinson Hall, a former geography annex that will now house the university’s advancement staff. 

Over the years, Atkinson has contributed to SDSU in both dollars and devotion to the university’s mission, giving more than $3 million to the university and serving on the board of the Campanile Foundation. In addition, Atkinson has volunteered countless hours to champion and represent the Aztec Family throughout the San Diego County region and the state and has solicited millions of dollars in contributions to the Campaign for SDSU and the Campanile Foundation Endowed Chair

And SDSU recognized a $1 million gift commitment by alumnus William E. Leonhard (College of Engineering, ’64). The newly-named William E. Leonhard Entrepreneurial Center Floor at the Engineering & Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex will supplement and support students, programs and projects. 

Sustaining the Next Generation of Journalists 

California State University, Fullerton associate professor emeritus of communications, Carolyn Johnson, recently made a $25,000 donation to the highly-regarded Department of Communications to establish the Journalism Endowment Fund

The Journalism Endowment Fund will assist students and faculty involved in CSU Fullerton’s journalism concentration program. This connection – and fostering the education of future journalists – is of particular importance to Johnson, who spent the majority of her tenure at CSU Fullerton teaching news reporting and feature writing. 

Malavalli Family Foundation Creates STEM Education Endowment 

Dr. Kumar Malavalli, a California State University, East Bay Educational Foundation board member, has pledged $1 million to the university through his Malavalli Family Foundation to create an endowment in support STEM education and outreach. 

With particular emphasis on early math literacy in grades K-3, CSU East Bay’s Malavalli Family Excellence in STEM Early Education program will receive generous annual support to continue building deeper relationships with East Bay schools, parents, and teachers, and prepare the future teachers who will transform STEM education for decades to come.