The California State University is the most ethnically and economically diverse university in the nation at a time when a college degree has never been more necessary for a secure and prosperous future. As part of Graduation Initiative 2025, the CSU is committed to providing equity of opportunity to all students, regardless of income, background, gender, race, ethnicity or status.As critical strategic partners, donors are key to the CSU's success in increasing academic achievement and degree completion for all students, while closing equity gaps for those from historically underserved communities. Donor support continues to positively impact learning by addressing student well-being and fostering a strong sense of belonging and academic purpose.
An anonymous donor has committed a $50 million planned gift to California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in general support of student success. The funds were received during Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Power of Doing comprehensive fundraising campaign, which has a goal of raising $700 million by 2021 to empower students, excellence and innovation.
A $100,000 gift from Chico State alumna Marti Easton Sutton and her husband, John, will help students in the College of Business obtain appropriate clothing for job interviews and office work. The Professional Attire Fund grants students in need up to $500 to buy business wear to help jump-start their careers.
The Tipper Gore Award for Excellence in Peer Mentorship will provide $3,500 a semester for selected California State University Channel Islands peer mentor ambassadors to continue to mentor while taking on additional responsibilities advocating for the program. As a supporter of education and an advocate for mental health awareness, former second lady Tipper Gore became a founding donor of the program to help peer mentors provide students with academic, emotional and practical support in what can be an unfamiliar environment.
Student entrepreneurs in the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics will soon be using Alexa devices to power their ideas through California State University, Northridge’s participation in the inaugural Amazon Alexa Innovation Fellowship program. The fellowship aims to help support on-campus entrepreneurial programs through funding, Alexa devices, hardware kits and regular training. The resources will be used for student scholarship and to further support innovation programs, operating costs and sponsorships of student ventures.
Sonoma State University received more than $2.2 million in donations for its Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). The money came from Mill Valley’s Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation, Healdsburg’s Rodney Strong Vineyards, Napa wine barrel supplier Cooperages 1912 and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, which owns the Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park. The donations will allow EOP to provide scholarships and other support to hundreds of economically disadvantaged students, who often are the first in their families to go to college.
Bob Ericksen worked at California State University, Fullerton for 23 years and served until 2006 as the director of the Office of International Education and Exchange—now Extension and International Programs. Visiting the campus in 2018, he was inspired to launch the Ericksen LGBTQ Grant Program, which provides financial assistance to LGBTQ-identifying students who have been affected by an emergency, crisis, catastrophic event or personal hardship. Support may include basic living expenses, such as for housing, transportation or academic funding due to loss of familial support.
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has awarded a three-year $960,000 grant to California State University, San Bernardino to increase Native American enrollment and student success. As part of the Native American Enrollment and Achievement Initiative, CSUSB will hire a director of tribal relations to oversee the program. The grant will sponsor two enrollment and outreach coordinators, three student mentors, an academic scholarship and a Summer Bridge Program geared toward the Native American student population.