This year, donor support for student scholarships helped thousands of CSU students attend college, reach their academic goals and build a better future for themselves, their families and California. These stories highlight our shared commitment and focus on ensuring that all CSU students and alumni – regardless of background or status – have the opportunity to achieve, graduate and inspire others.
A $50,000 gift to Humboldt State from Green Diamond Resource Company and the Diller Family helped permanently endow the
Lowell Diller Wildlife Scholarship Endowment, in honor of wildlife biologist and HSU professor Lowell Diller, who passed away in March 2017.
Diller, who began teaching at Humboldt State in 2001, is perhaps best known for developing the first Habitat Conservation Plan for the threatened northern spotted owl, which helped protect elements of the forest critical to the owl's long-term survival. This plan – along with his love of biology and teaching – earned Diller the respect of fellow biologists, timber industry colleagues and educators in the North Coast.
Cal Poly Pomona received more than $200,000 to create an endowed scholarship to memorialize Margarita McCoy, the first woman to chair a university department of urban planning in the United States. The scholarship will provide annual financial aid to students in the university's
Urban and Regional Planning program.
During her fifteen years as professor and seven years as chair at Cal Poly Pomona, Ms. McCoy was committed to building a brand new, high-caliber program for first-generation students. Her advocacy and involvement with planning accreditation committees helped to increase the number of women planner graduates.
Cal State Long Beach alumnus Robert H. Murphy made a combined $1.5 million commitment to establish the
Bob Murphy Access Center for Students with Disabilities and the
Bob Murphy Access Endowed Fund. Together, these gifts will provide specialized programs, facilities and services to empower students with disabilities at CSULB to achieve their full potential.
With the Training Ship
Golden Bear serving as backdrop in Honolulu, Cal Maritime raised $60,000 for the
Captain David Lyman Memorial Scholarship Endowment, which supports Hawaiian students attending the university. The endowment was established in 2007 to honor Captain David Lyman, a 1965 Cal Maritime graduate and founder of the Hawaii Harbor Pilots Association. Lyman passed away in January 2006 during a pilot assignment on the island of Kauai.
In addition to this year's fundraiser, the Lyman Scholarship has received regular contributions over the last ten years to help grow the endowment and make a unique Cal Maritime education more affordable for students from Hawaii.
A consortium of local community and business leaders contributed $2.2 million to Sonoma State's
Educational Opportunity Program. The combined gifts from the Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation, the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Rodney Strong Vineyards and Cooperages 1912 will fund support programs and scholarships for hundreds of economically disadvantaged, first-generation students enrolling at Sonoma State.
Alumnus Omar Velasco established the
Omar Velasco Dreamers Scholarship which provides two annual scholarship awards for first-year Dreamer students at Cal State Northridge.
Velasco's father came to the United States as part of the Bracero Program in the 1950s. Now a U.S. citizen, Velasco was born in Jalisco, Mexico and came to this country as a teenager, enrolling in San Fernando High School and graduating from CSUN in 2000. Today, along with his wife, Argelia, Omar hosts the top-rated morning radio show in Los Angeles,
Omar y Argelia, on K-LOVE 107.5 FM.
Inspired by gifts from Omar Velasco and many others, the community has come together to help more than 8,300 Dreamers enrolled in the university achieve the American dream of attending college, earning a degree, giving back to their communities and building lifelong success.
Funded through a $2.2 million bequest, the
Dorothy and Chet Lynd Endowed Scholarship – named in honor of the donors – helps deserving Cal State Long Beach students earn their college degree. In establishing their scholarship, Dorothy and Chet Lynd saw their bequest as a way of giving back to the Long Beach community, where they spent many happy years as a married couple.
San José State received a $1.25 million gift from alumnus Dr. Conrad Schmitt to establish the
Judy and Conrad Schmitt Scholarship in Nursing. Dr. Schmitt's gift, made in memory of his late wife and fellow alumna, Judy, will provide scholarships to students who are single parents enrolled in SJSU's Valley Foundation School of Nursing.
Mark and Lori Edwards made an estate gift of $2.2 million to Cal State San Bernardino to provide scholarships and program support for foster youth. The Edwards family has been generous supporters of CSUSB for a decade, donating funds, gifts-in-kind and cultural experiences for more than sixty Renaissance Scholars.
Five Cal State Channel Islands students received scholarships at the
2017 Business & Technology Partnership Leadership Dinner. The five students – who each received a $6,500 scholarship – are all majoring in either business or the sciences and were chosen based on financial need and academic achievement.
Housed in the Martin V. Smith School of Business and Economics, the Business & Technology Partnership serves as a fundraising affiliate of the CI Foundation. Its membership is comprised largely of community leaders, business executives and professionals.
A $500,000 estate gift to Sonoma State will endow the
Steve Carroll and Chuck Maisell Scholarship Fund. This incredible gift will provide scholarships for undergraduate students with financial need who are members of the
Queer Straight Alliance at Sonoma State.
Steve Carroll and Chuck Maisell served as members of the Ambassadors for Higher Education, which plays a leading role in promoting higher education issues on behalf of Sonoma State and the CSU.
President Ellen Junn kicked off her tenure at Stanislaus State with a $50,000 lead gift to support the
First Generation Presidential Scholars Initiative, which benefits Central Valley students. The president of the university's foundation board and Stan State alumnus, John Jacinto, matched the lead gift with an additional $50,000 contribution.
First Generation Presidential Scholars Initiative recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions of high school and community college students who reside near the university and are the first in their families to receive a university education.
Cal State East Bay's
Helping Our Pioneers Excel (HOPE) program received several gifts to support its holistic efforts to combat food insecurity amongst students. After viewing a local news segment on HOPE, Lytton Rancheria was inspired to give $100,000 toward the program, while current Cal State East Bay Educational Foundation trustee member Allan Warren made a $50,000 commitment.
Cal State Northridge alumnus Gabriel Chavez remembers exactly what inspired him to establish the
Sergeant Gabriel Chavez Scholarship Fund, awarded annually for five years to a deserving CSUN student veteran.
"My mom told me, 'Whatever you give, you get twice in return,'" Gabriel said. "And it's always stuck with me."
Born in Mexico to very modest means, Gabriel and his family eventually moved to California where his parents, Luis and Olivia, worked picking fruits and vegetables. After time in the U.S. Marine Corps, Gabriel attended Los Angeles Mission College, where counselors pointed him in the direction of Cal State Northridge and a degree in radiologic sciences.
Gabriel was all-in at CSUN. In addition to excelling in his radiologic sciences program, Gabriel received the Mike Mahoney Marine Corps Veterans Scholarship, Outstanding Veteran Award, and got involved in the Radiologic Sciences Alumni Chapter. Those connections led Gabriel to a career with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Despite earning a modest living that requires him to save every penny to fund the scholarship, Gabriel knows inherently the sacrifice of others to help him reach his goals. Through the Sergeant Gabriel Chavez Scholarship Fund, Gabriel hopes to pay it forward, help a student with a similar story to his own and inspire others to give back.
Cal Maritime marked ten years of scholarship support for graduates of Phineas Banning High School, located near the Port of Los Angeles. Since 2007, the
Banning Scholarship program has distributed $250,000 to Banning High graduates bound for Cal Maritime, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college.
Banning Scholarship, started by Cal Maritime alumnus Captain James Morgan and members of his alumni class, ensures that Banning High students interested in a career in the maritime industry can attend the university without having to worry about potential burdens placed on them and their families.
The scholarship's unique scope and cohort size also allows for Morgan and his colleagues, many of whom are now captains, admirals and leaders in the maritime industry, to provide individualized support, mentorship and counseling to student recipients.
Read more about the Banning Scholarship and its transformational impact on Cal Maritime students at
Cal State Channel Islands received a $100,000 donation from the Dr. Richard Grossman Community Foundation to establish the
Dr. Richard Grossman Endowed Nursing Scholarship. The gift – inspired to posthumously honor both Dr. Grossman and Grossman Foundation member Lon Morton – will support CSUCI nursing scholars in financial need beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year.
Dr. Tsuyoshi Roy Nakai made a $350,000 planned gift to support scholarships in the Communications Department at Cal State Dominguez Hills. After his daughter Leslie, a CSUDH alumna, passed away in 2000, Dr. Nakai established the
Leslie Akemi Nakai Memorial Fund to celebrate her life and provide financial assistance to students in need.
Since 2000, Dr. Nakai has donated over $70,000, which has funded over 65 annual scholarships. This new planned gift will further support students while reducing the financial burden on them and their families.
Dedicated to furthering student success, the Dhont Family Foundation has donated more than $1 million to Cal State Fullerton and its
Guardian Scholars Program over the last decade to fund student scholarships. The
Guardian Scholars Program provides current and former foster youth with a full-ride scholarship, as well as comprehensive, year-round programming that promotes their academic, career and life ambitions.
A $75,000 grant award from the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) has enabled Cal State Fullerton's Veterans Resource Center to offer critical emergency financial support to the more than 500 student veterans attending the university. Through this grant award, CSUF student veterans now have access to scholarship support, an internship stipend and an emergency assistance fund that provides timely financial relief for students experiencing economic hardship.
As recipients of this grant, the
CSUF Veterans Resource Center is also a part of OCCF's Orange County Veterans Initiative, a collaboration between businesses, non-profits and community organizations. Through this investment, the OCCF is helping to support the academic, career and life ambitions of Titan student veterans.
Through a campus fundraising effort with graduating seniors and other students, Cal Poly Pomona undergraduates Marwa Mhtar and Su Yeon Kim created the
Emerging Scholars Fund, a scholarship for first-generation students from low-income backgrounds. Raising more than $20,000 to date, the two were motivated by the scholarship support they themselves received to pay it forward.
The Green & Gold Gala, Sacramento State's signature black-tie fundraising event, raised more than $373,000 in March 2017 to support student scholarships and programs, namely the
Green and Gold Scholarship and Student Emergency Grant Fund.
Green and Gold Scholarship was created to assist undergraduate students of any major who have demonstrated enthusiasm and determination to obtain a degree despite personal, financial, or other hardships. The
Student Emergency Grant Fund assists students who experience a financial emergency that could jeopardize their studies at Sacramento State.
History was made when Soul Vang, the first Hmong-American to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from Fresno State, created a $30,000 endowment to support a scholarship and annual poetry prize. Vang, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Germany and Texas, also made history by being the first Master of Fine Arts graduate from Fresno State to create an endowed scholarship.