University Support

Everywhere you look across the California State University, our remarkable students are finding solutions to the world’s most pressing issues such as climate change, health care disparities and social and environmental injustice. Excellence like this deserves a learning environment to match. By funding key infrastructure on our campuses—including libraries, labs, student centers and art schools—donors help enhance our students’ discovery experiences. The spirit of curiosity found in these vital and bustling hubs is not restricted to the campus grounds—it resonates into the regions we serve to create stronger, more vibrant and more sustainable communities.

Honoring their Father's Legacy by Supporting Future Leaders

The family of former Ventura County philanthropist and real estate developer Martin V. “Bud” Smith donated $10.5 million to his namesake—the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics (MVS School) at California State University Channel Islands. A portion of the gift will be used to finish construction of the MVS School’s new facility. The remaining endowment will benefit students through scholarships, internships, hands-on projects with local companies, competitions and participation in and support of faculty research.

“My father firmly believed in the importance of having a four-year university in the county,” said Smith’s daughter, Victoria Pozzi. “One of the best things we have done as a family and a foundation is invest in CSUCI. This gift not only carries on our father’s legacy but contributes to the development of the area’s future business leaders, who will ensure the region’s strength and vitality continues.”

Gift Allows Greenhouse to Thrive Year-Round

The Dennis K. Walker Greenhouse at California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt boasts one of the largest teaching collections of living plants in California. Now, thanks to a generous gift from its namesake, Professor Emeritus Dennis K. Walker, the iconic campus facility will get an injection of funding to hire a permanent assistant manager. Walker’s $1.5 million gift will allow the position to be funded in perpetuity, backed by an endowment.

“The greenhouse provides diverse growing conditions that make it possible to keep a teaching collection of plants available throughout the year to supplement local vegetation,” Walker says. “By ‘forcing’ dormant plants to grow when the students are on campus, or maintaining exotic specimens from around the world, the greenhouse supports the educational mission of the botany program while also being used by a variety of other disciplines such as art and entomology.”

Transformative Gift is Music to Their Ears

Alumna Mary Levin Cutler donated $10 million to establish the Mary Levin School of the Arts in the College of Arts and Letters at California State University, Los Angeles. The gift brings her total contributions to her alma mater to $14 million, more than any single donor in the university’s history.

“Mary’s tremendous generosity and dedication to our university will undoubtedly elevate the stature and visibility of our arts programs and further transform the lives of our students and their future success by enhancing the quality of their education, the caliber of their skills and their competitiveness in the entertainment industry,” said Lena Chao, dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “We are truly grateful that Mary has shared this extraordinary gift to make our students’ dreams a reality.”

The Mary Levin School of the Arts will house the departments of art, music, television, film and media studies, and theatre and dance, as well as the Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery.

New Campus Center Provides Space for Emerging Leaders

Tom and Libby Edwards pledged $250,000 to establish the Tom and Libby Edwards Cadet Leadership Center at California State University Maritime Academy’s Mayo Hall. The hall is one of the university’s original buildings and has housed an indoor pool and gym for more than 70 years. The renovated hall will include a full-service cadet center that will be home to the Edwards Leadership Program and enhance campus life for the Cal Maritime community. Construction began in 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by spring 2023.

In addition, the new building will meet U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification in alignment with the CSU’s commitment to sustainability.

“The Edwards Leadership Program provides cadets with a distinct leadership advantage while they’re at Cal Maritime and as they enter their respective professions upon graduation,” says David Taliaferro, commandant of cadets at Cal Maritime. “Effectiveness, self-awareness and learning agility are foundational for the program.”

Donors Write Next Chapter for University Library

A group of Stanislaus State University alumni, community influencers and supporters came together to fundraise in support of one of the university’s most vital hubs of learning: the newly renovated J. Burton Vasché Library.

Turlock residents and CSU honorary doctorate recipients John and Jeani Ferrari and Stanislaus State alumna Marlene Stante chaired the fundraising initiative, fittingly called The Next Chapter. It raised more than $1 million for technology, sustainable furnishings and innovative guest experiences, such as a two-story mural that pays homage to the agricultural legacy of the Central Valley.

“Stanislaus State is truly grateful for the work of our resolute committee and the more than 200 donors who supported The Next Chapter campaign,” said Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn. “The gifts received will help the library continue to thrive as a vibrant space for learning, discovery and innovation.”

The library is a special space for alumni Rosemary and Paul Adalian, who first noticed each other in class on the first day of school in 1965. Two months later, Paul saw Rosemary studying in the library and stopped to ask her what she thought their instructor was going to ask on the midterm. The rest, as they say, is history.

The long-married couple celebrated their love by donating $25,000 to the library to establish The Paul and Rosemary Adalian Instruction Room, located near where they routinely sat with friends when their love story began 57 years ago.