Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- June 28, 2002

Cal Poly Fund-Raisers Win Fourth-Straight International Award

Cal Poly has again won the top award from the international organization of educational fund-raisers in recognition of its success in soliciting private, corporate and foundation support. This is the fourth consecutive year Cal Poly has won the Circle of Excellence Award -- currently the longest consecutive winning streak in the nation for universities receiving recognition for overall fund-raising.

Cal Poly was one of four universities of its type (public comprehensive, non-doctoral universities) to receive a 2002 Circle of Excellence Award for overall performance in educational fund raising. The award is part of the annual recognition program sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and a new co-sponsor this year, the fund-raising services firm Wealth ID.

"The university is pleased to have been chosen again for this honor," said Cal Poly President Warren J. Baker. "We view it as an important acknowledgment of the generous contributions we are fortunate to receive from our numerous alumni and friends. Their continued strong support is a further endorsement and vote of confidence for the outstanding work Cal Poly faculty members carry out every day on behalf of our students. This honor also recognizes our faculty members' and deans' earnest and dedicated efforts to garner additional support for our educational mission."

The 2002 award recognizes fund-raising success in the 2000-2001 fiscal year, during which gifts to Cal Poly totaled $43.2 million. The amount also was the largest one-year total ever raised by a California State University campus.

"We're proud of our record of continuing to increase private support for Cal Poly," said Bill Boldt, vice president for university advancement. "Since 1994-95 annual private support for the university has risen almost 400 percent.

"We're making excellent progress toward the $225 million goal of our Centennial Campaign," Boldt said. "We're building invaluable resources to support the outstanding educational experience Cal Poly offers its students, and, even as it continues, the campaign is enhancing that experience and providing concrete benefits. This is due, in large part, to a dedicated team of volunteers and staff members."

The money raised last year is part of $162 million credited so far to the Centennial Campaign, which began counting Jan. 1, 1998, and was publicly launched in April 2001. The largest gift received to this point in the campaign was Unocal's donation of its Avila Beach pier, valued at $18 million and accompanied by a $3.5 million gift to maintain and operate a new Marine Science Education and Research Center at the facility.

Support of students, one of the main focal points of the campaign, has resulted in numerous new endowed scholarship programs, including the Cal Poly Scholars program. The program, which offers full scholarships to a select group of students, helps ensure that top-ranked applicants make Cal Poly their first choice. Annually, each of the university's six undergraduate colleges and Cal Poly's provost select one incoming student for the scholarship.

Another area of the campaign's focus, faculty support, has created several endowed chairs or professorships -- including the university's first two chairs (funded at $1 million each), the Arthur C. Edwards Endowed Chair for Coatings Technology and Ecology and the Unocal Chair for Environmental Studies.

Institutions winning CASE awards are selected on the basis of data submitted in a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 institutions at all levels of education. Judges look at such criteria as the pattern of growth in total support, factors contributing to total support, the overall breadth of the program, the pattern of growth in each program area, the pattern of growth among alumni donors and other individual donors, the impact of the 12 largest gifts on total support, total support in relation to the alumni base, and the type of institution.

In selecting the winners, judges recognize fund-raising programs that show solid growth, breadth in the base of support, and other indications of a mature, well-maintained program.

Contact: Bill Boldt (805) 756-1445

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