Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- April 13, 2001

Cal Poly's Orfalea College of Business To be Named to Recognize $15 Million Gift

Cal Poly on April 20 will dedicate its College of Business as the Orfalea College of Business -- the university's first named college -- in recognition of a $15 million gift from Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea that was announced in November.

"It is my privilege to be able to thank Paul Orfalea for a gift that will enable our business school to improve its programs and engage students in the advancement of knowledge," Cal Poly President Warren Baker said. "By naming our business program in honor of Paul's parents, we hope we are fully expressing our appreciation for the gift and our excitement over the possibilities it creates."

"The Orfalea gift will transform the College of Business as it faces the challenges of higher education in the 21st century," said Dean of Business Bill Pendergast. "At a time of the impending retirement of many faculty members, the college will need to attract many young, new professors who face a higher cost of living in San Luis Obispo than in most of the rest of the country, and the Orfalea gift will enable us to offer greater incentives to those potential new faculty members.

"The College will also use the gift to provide scholarships to augment the diversity and quality of the student body and fellowships for faculty members to renew their knowledge and skills," Pendergast said. "Distinguished executives will visit campus to provide an experienced, practical dimension to classes. The college will support hands-on student experiences such as participation in international competitions and business plan contests.

"International partnerships with business schools around the world will provide a foundation for globalization of the educational experience," Pendergast added. "The gift also provides matching funds to attract outstanding faculty members to endowed chairs."

The gift will establish the Orfalea Family Endowment for Excellence, with a focus on the college's strategic initiatives in entrepreneurship, globalization and technology through scholarships, faculty development and program enhancements. The contribution also includes a $5 million challenge gift to leverage additional private support for the college and the establishment of endowed professorships in critical areas.

The $15 million contribution is the largest individual gift of cash or securities ever made to one of the California State University system's 23 campuses.

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