Chancellor's Message

I'm pleased to report that the California State University experienced exceptionally generous philanthropic support during the 2020-21 fiscal year. During a time filled with pandemic challenges, we still received more than $634 million in gift commitments, which is equivalent to last year's all-time high. Even more remarkable were our gift receipts, which totaled more than $552 million—a new record for the university. That volume of giving, coupled with strong investment returns, enabled the CSU's endowment value to rise to $2.4 billion, surpassing the $2 billion mark for the first time in our 61-year history.

Such momentum reflects the support of truly extraordinary donors. Philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, are two such individuals. Their collective gift of $135 million, divided among four CSU campuses, recognized the university's success in creating pathways for progress among traditionally underserved communities. It will enable us to do even more in the future.

Certainly, our philanthropic achievements could not have occurred without the work and determination of CSU staff and faculty who continued to build relationships and generate awareness of our progress, our alumni who rallied behind their alma maters to support students and programs, and wonderful friends of the university who recognized how our campuses serve as wellsprings for innovation in their communities.

Our collective resilience yielded remarkable success academically, as well: A record 113,000 students earned bachelor's degrees throughout last year—powerful evidence of our progress in achieving the ambitious goals of Graduation Initiative 2025. This latest class of graduates pushed the number of CSU global alumni to more than 4 million, and increased the depth and breadth of their impact across California, the nation and the world.

To all those who continued to believe in the mission and core values of the CSU during one of our most challenging years—thank you. Your support empowered us to take another bold step forward. I am humbled and grateful.

Joseph I. Castro