Public Affairs

Philanthropy Supports Excellence at the CSU

University system continues to benefit from extraordinary
personal generosity, even with prolonged economic
downturn affecting amount of giving

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Erik Fallis (562) 951-4800

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(January 26, 2011) – Alumni and friends of the California State University continue to provide much needed support for the university, according to the Philanthropic Annual Report presented on Jan. 25 to the CSU Board of Trustees.   

Over the past three years, the CSU has averaged $357 million in gift commitments, including more than $265 million designated in 2009-2010.  The 2009-2010 decrease from the prior two years of extraordinarily strong gift commitments reflects the impact of the prolonged recession.  Gift receipts, new gifts and pledge payments totaling $228 million, also declined from the record-high prior two years.

As a positive, CSU endowments began to recover during 2009-2010, with an 18 percent increase in endowment market value that reached $846 million, up from $720 million in 2008-2009.  In 2009-2010, donors contributed nearly $50 million in new gifts toward endowments, an increase of 26 percent from the prior year.  Over a three-year period, $157 million in new endowment gifts were added to endowments throughout the CSU.

"We have seen remarkable generosity and belief in the CSU mission overcome one of the most prolonged recessions in American history," said Garrett P. Ashley, CSU vice chancellor for university relations and advancement.  "These personal gifts allow for a margin of excellence at a time when many programmatic resources are scarce."

Despite what has been a difficult year for many, the CSU continues to be the benefactor of some tremendous displays of personal generosity.  The San Diego State University Library benefited from a $4 million pledge from Charles and Robin Luby, who are both active alumni and dedicated volunteers at the campus.

Ed Fitzpatrick and his wife, Bertha, announced a $500,000 gift in support of CSU Stanislaus' athletic program.  Ed Fitzpatrick has served as a strong and valuable member of the University’s Foundation Board since 2003 and both actively support the Warrior Athletics program.  The Warrior Arena has been renamed the Ed and Bertha Fitzpatrick Arena in their honor.

Giving is not confined to individuals.  Corporations have also invested in the future of the CSU.  For the second year in a row, AT&T made the CSU/ AT&T Road to College Bus Tour possible with $500,000 in funding.  The 40-foot high impact “wired” bus wrapped with the “Road to College: Get on Board” theme made 40 stops statewide encouraging students to plan for college.

As was the case with the three examples above, 97 percent of all charitable gifts received were designated to specific interests identified by the donor.  The CSU is obligated to spend those funds enhancing the purpose the donor intended.  Therefore, fundraising cannot replace general fund dollars.  However, those programs, services, scholarships and other designated interests that receive funds can use these resources to attain a margin of excellence greater than otherwise possible.

Below are the interests that received philanthropic support through gift receipts.

Gift Receipt (by designation)    

  • Endowments (primarily for student scholarships) - $50 million
  • Academic programs  - $43.9 million
  • Designations for other university needs - $26.8 million
  • Public service programs - $25.5 million  
  • Facilities (libraries, laboratories, arts centers and athletics) - $19 million
  • Student scholarships (not through endowments) - $15.6 million
  • Athletics - $14.5 million
  • Irrevocable deferred gifts - $12 million
  • Applied research -$9.9 million
  • Physical plant operations - $1.8 million
  • Library operations - $1.6 million
  • Faculty compensation - $1.0 million
  • Unrestricted - $5.9 million

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 433,000 students year round and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. A recent economic report found that the CSU supports more than 150,000 jobs statewide, annually. The engine driving job creation is more than $17 billion in economic activity that directly results from CSU-related spending that generates $5.43 for every dollar the state invests. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.

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