San Diego State University Receives $5 Million Gift From Doug and Betsy Manchester: Donation Sets Record for Largest Alumni Couple Gift in University History
Doug and Betsy Manchester have always felt that San Diego State University played a strong role in shaping their future. It is where both went to college, met and fell in love. It's where Doug's successful career in high-profile real estate development was launched, and the young couple began their appreciation for the joy of family and the legacy of philanthropic contributions to the community.
Now the Manchesters are helping to shape the future of SDSU in a way that will leave an indelible impression - financially and physically - upon the campus. The university announced a $5 million gift today from the Manchester family, the largest gift from an alumni couple in the university's history.
"I am most grateful to the Manchester family for their support of San Diego State University," said SDSU President Stephen L. Weber. "For more than 40 years they have cared for and remained engaged with their alma mater, serving on advisory boards and committees, attending university events, and supporting our academic and athletics programs. This generous gift provides considerable resources to enhance the excellence of the university and establishes an important new level of philanthropic connection with our alumni."
In recognition of the Manchesters' long record of service and support of SDSU, the university will permanently change the name of Centennial Hall to Manchester Hall, marking the first time the university has so honored any of its alumni. The 10-year-old, 200,000-square-foot building near the center of campus houses the President's Office, offices for Academic Affairs, Graduate Affairs, University Advancement, and the SDSU Library's Special Collections department.
Doug Manchester, chairman of the Manchester Financial Group, who prefers to be called "Papa Doug" by everyone, is well-known for developing landmark projects such as the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina and the Manchester Grand Hyatt resort hotels in downtown San Diego. He is currently constructing a world-class golf resort and spa called The Grand Del Mar in North San Diego County that will be completed in 2007.
He and his company also are credited with transforming Navy Field downtown from a no-man's land into a tourism magnet, paving the way for the San Diego Convention Center and playing an important role in the revitalization of the Gaslamp Quarter and the San Diego convention and tourism industries.
The Manchesters decided to make their gift because they want San Diego State to continue to be a premier university that generates pride for the region.
"Betsy and I have always tried to focus our philanthropic efforts on education, children's causes and other health and human services. Having met at SDSU, of course, the university has special meaning in our lives," said Papa Doug, who graduated from San Diego State's College of Business in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in insurance, while Betsy Manchester graduated from San Diego State in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in English. "We have long been associated with San Diego State and see great things on the horizon. We wanted to not only be a part of that great future, but also to contribute to it."
Approximately $3.5 million will be used for presidential initiatives and undergraduate teaching support, while the remaining $1.5 million will be given to SDSU's intercollegiate golf program.
"We are thrilled and honored to receive the Manchesters' magnanimous gift to our golf program," said SDSU Athletics Director Jeff Schemmel. Doug and Betsy's commitment to and passion for San Diego State University are well known, and we are forever indebted to them. Aztec Athletics is committed to using this gift to enhance our program and aid our student-athletes in the classroom and on the golf course."
ABOUT THE MANCHESTERS
As devoted benefactors supporting local and national educational, charitable and medical institutions, the Manchesters have endowed scholarships and funded major facilities at the University of San Diego, the Bishop's School, San Diego State University, Wake Forest University, and Cathedral Catholic High School. Papa Doug's motto is, "Make positive memories."
Contact: Jason Foster, (619) 594-2585/ Cell: (619) 992-0772,
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