Campus: CSU Northridge -- February 4, 2004

Cal State Northridge Sets New Campus Fundraising Record

$18.8 Million Mark in Gifts Reached During 2002/03 Despite Tough Economy

Bucking the trend of tough times for fundraising, California State University, Northridge set a new campus record of $18.8 million in private support collected during the 2002/03 year, according to a newly released report.

Cal State Northridge’s fundraising tally during the most recent year more than triples its private support of five years ago, when the university received $5 million during 1998/99. Since that time, through a campus wide commitment, the university’s fundraising has advanced on a continuous upward trend.

“This is an important result for Cal State Northridge, because it clearly demonstrates that the community recognizes and values the high-caliber of the university, its academic programs and our major impact on the San Fernando Valley and the surrounding region,” said Northridge President Jolene Koester.

The latest statistics for Cal State Northridge are part of an annual fundraising report released at the recent California State University Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach. Northridge’s $18.8 million in charitable gifts during 2002/03 ranks the university fifth in fundraising among 23 Cal State campuses for that year.

“This university has so many outstanding, nationally recognized programs,” said Judy C. Knudson, Northridge’s vice president for university advancement. “One of our biggest challenges in spreading the word about Cal State Northridge is that we have such a large number of exceptional activities. Whether in business or the arts or teacher education, Cal State Northridge shines.”

The university’s fundraising success during 2002/03 was spurred by the first-year portion of a pledge of Chinese antiquities made by Chinese-American entrepreneur Roland Tseng. The total pledge, valued at $38 million over four years, is the largest gift ever both for Cal State Northridge and all Cal State University campuses.

Charitable giving to Cal State Northridge — one of California’s largest universities with a record nearly 33,000 students — has climbed steadily from $5 million in 1998/99 to $7.8 million in 1999/2000, $12.4 million in 2000/01, $12.5 million in 2001/02, and finally to $18.8 million in 2002/03, a 50 percent one-year increase, according to the CSU fundraising report.

The university’s fundraising success comes during a period when many universities and other institutions have seen their fundraising results flatten or even decline because of a struggling national economy, stock market declines, terrorism fears and other concerns. During that time, Northridge has now achieved five consecutive years of increases in its annual fundraising results.

President Koester called that success a tribute to the entire university. Although fundraising is the direct responsibility of Northridge’s University Advancement Division, the president noted that many major gifts often begin with community members’ contacts with faculty members or many of the university’s outstanding programs.

In recent years, in addition to the Tseng gift that was publicly announced last September, some of Northridge’s major fundraising successes have included:

  • Retired professor Harry Stone last November pledging to the university one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of materials on famed English novelist Charles Dickens.
  • A $7 million gift in 2002 from The Eisner Foundation, created by Walt Disney Co. chairman Michael D. Eisner and his wife Jane, to establish a new, cutting-edge teacher training program.
  • Lead donations of $2 million in 2000 from The Ridgestone Foundation to help build and open CSUN’s $6 million Abbott and Linda Brown Western Center for Adaptive Aquatic Therapy.

President Koester stressed that private fundraising is not a substitute for the basic financial support that Cal State Northridge continues to receive from the state, as a public university, to educate students and offer programs. Instead, Koester said private gifts often enable the university to enhance its programs, or offer new ones, in ways that would not occur otherwise.

“Private support is essential to Cal State Northridge, because it gives us that extra edge of excellence, the ability to make special things happen for our students and our community,” President Koester said.
“One of my longstanding commitments has been to strengthen the university’s connections with our community in many ways. We are the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the San Fernando Valley and beyond. Clearly, that is being recognized now more than ever before,” the president said.

Contact: John Chandler, (818) 677-5674,

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