Campus: Long Beach -- July 25, 2006

Former Professor, Wife Donate $1 Million to CSULB to Continue Support of Communication Skills Center

An emeritus professor of speech communication at California State University, Long Beach and his wife have donated $1 million to the campus, continuing their support of the Center for Communication Skills that bears their names, announced F. King Alexander, president of the university.

It is the second $1 million gift from Luster E. and Audrey Nichol Hauth to Cal State Long Beach. The first came in 1999 and was used to establish the Luster E. and Audrey Nichol Hauth Center for Communication Skills. At the time, it was the largest gift of its kind from a retired professor in the California State University system. This second donation adds to that legacy.

"Because of our first gift to CSULB, the Hauth Center has been well established, serving students, faculty and staff," said Luster Hauth. "Through this second gift, we see the Hauth Center becoming more visible, playing an integral part in the education of the students, and becoming more expansive, including reaching out to the Long Beach community."

The Hauths' latest gift is another gesture in their support for public education in general, and, in particular, to the CSULB Communication Studies Department, where Luster Hauth taught for 28 years before retiring in 1992. Audrey Nichol Hauth, an alumna of CSULB, was a highly regarded teacher at Westminster High School for more than 20 years.

"Cal State Long Beach is fortunate to have people like the Hauths as part of the university's family," said President Alexander. "Having both worked for public education institutions, they are aware of the importance of our mission. Even in their retirement, the Hauths have continued to work tirelessly to prepare students for their educational and professional careers by enhancing the communication skills of thousands of students. We are extremely grateful for their generosity and the interdisciplinary value of this gift."

As with the first gift, these funds will be used to support the Hauth Center for Communication Skills, which annually serves some 2,000 campus and community members who wish to improve their communication skills.

"This seems to be a time of communication fall-out; people just can't get along. If more people had good communication skills, they would be better survivors in our tumultuous world," Audrey Hauth pointed out. "Hopefully, the Hauth Center will give students communication skills that will help them become effective communicators and, thus, more successful in their personal worlds."

The center's technical director, Scott Allen, manages the state-of-the-art video and audio technology to provide individualized assistance for those who need help in their oral presentation, interpersonal and group communication skills. At the same time, the center provides critical observational and research opportunities.

In addition, the center offers individualized assistance with class presentations, employment and group interviewing skills, group facilitation, lecture preparation and presentation, use of communication presentation software and communication in the classroom.

Tim Plax, the center's administrative director, was very emotional in his reaction to the Hauth gift. "This second and generous gift from Luster and Audrey Hauth is unprecedented in the communication discipline," Plax said. "Once again, the Hauths have captured the spirit of philanthropy at CSULB. I can't thank them enough. They are role models for us all. Because of their unselfish and wonderful gifts, the Hauth Center will exist in perpetuity.

Contact: Rick Gloady, 562/985-5454, rgloady@csulb.edu
Shayne Schroeder, 562/985-1727, schroede@csulb.edu


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