Campus: CSU Fresno -- August 23, 2002

Fresno State Receives 3 Private Gifts Totaling $4.2 Million for Academics

President John D. Welty announced on Tuesday three major gifts totaling $4.2 million that will enhance academic programs at California State University, Fresno, and abroad.

Welty revealed the gifts during his address to faculty at the Academic Assembly, the annual kickoff convocation for the fall semester. The donations come from three Fresno families, all of whom have previously supported the university – the Munger family, the Fansler family and the Downing family.

“We thank these benefactors for their generous gifts and their ongoing support,” said Welty.
“As I have said before, the margin of excellence at great universities is private support, not reliance on public funds. We appreciate those in our community who, through their private support, become partners with us as we continue down the path toward greatness.”
The donations are:

  • $1.95 million from the Munger Family of Delano, to benefit the College of Engineering and Computer Science. The donation will establish the Munger Chair of Computer Engineering and the Munger United States-India Student program in Computer Engineering, to enhance the distance learning capabilities of the electrical and computer engineering department at Fresno State, in conjunction with its operations in India.

    “The Munger Chair and the Munger Program will be an integral part of Fresno State’s engineering and computer science programs and will be a source of high-tech expertise and education for our students as well as the local, state and international business community,” said Dr. Karl Longley, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

    He said establishment of the Munger Chair and the Munger Program will provide distance-learning opportunities and “connect to countless students in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India, bolster their local economy and forever positively impact the lives and the futures of those students.”

    The Munger Program will also enhance the educational opportunities for students and faculty in the San Joaquin Valley by strengthening the core curriculum, enhancing the distance learning facilities and providing strong, dedicated faculty leadership through the endowed Munger Chair in Computer Science, Longley said.

  • $1.5 million from the Fansler Foundation to create the D. Paul Fansler Endowed Chair for Leadership in Early Childhood Education, the first endowed chair within a school of education in the state of California.

    The Kremen School of Education and Human Development will receive a permanent endowment for the Fansler Preschool in the Huggins Center at Fresno State, and the infant and toddler programs will be named the Marlene M. Fansler Infant/Toddler Program.
    Income generated by the endowment will be used in support of Early Childhood Education professional development, graduate education and leadership initiatives through creation of a Leadership Institute that demonstrates innovative approaches and promotes improvement of services to children and families in the Central Valley.

  • $750,000 from the Downing family, to be used to construct a new, free-standing Downing Museum near the Downing Planetarium, built two years ago at Fresno State with a gift from the family.

    Several Downing family gifts to date for the planetarium and science scholarships total $3.125 million.

    The new facility will be about 4,700 square feet and will house numerous exhibits on physics and an open space for hands-on learning. Like the Planetarium, the new museum will be open to the public and will provide academic opportunities for Fresno State students as well.

    Construction on the museum will begin in the next several months and will be completed in about two years.

Contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruster (559) 278-2795

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