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Private giving to CSUEB continues to rise, topping $6 million last year


CSUEB has received several gifts to establish a Center for STEM Education, which would be housed in a new STEM Education building proposed for the Hayward campus, shown here in an artist rendering.

  • September 15, 2011

As Cal State East Bay continued to spotlight efforts to improve science and math education and support for students throughout the East Bay, the university recorded more than $6 million in gifts and pledges for the University of Possibilities fundraising campaign.

Gifts, both received and committed, totaled $6.1 million in the 2010-11 fiscal year, which marked the second year of the campaign's early "leadership" phase.

“We are on track to meet the long term goal of raising between $40 million and $50 million over the seven- to eight-year campaign period,” said Bob Burt, vice president of University Advancement.

“This is excellent progress toward our goals for the future of Cal State East Bay,” Burt said. “We have built several strong partnerships in the East Bay, and the support from these partners and friends makes it clear that they share our vision for the region and the role of the university.”

The campaign is the first comprehensive fundraising effort in CSUEB’s history. Launched in July 2009, the campaign aims to increase private financial support for four broad priority areas: promoting academic excellence, increasing student access to higher education, supporting student success and investing in new opportunities.

Giving to Cal State East Bay during the first two years of the campaign was more than 2.5 times the total of gifts and commitments received in the prior two years (2007-09). The campaign total at the end of the 2010-11 fiscal year was $12.9 million.

As state budgets shrink, private support for the university can directly benefit students immediately, said campaign director Anne Harris. “Through the generosity of our donors, Cal State East Bay is able to offer more scholarships, maintain academic support programs and help those students who might be struggling with the recent tuition fee increases. The new and continued support of our alumni and friends is greatly appreciated, and means a great deal to our students,” she said.

Scholarships in particular are instrumental in expanding access to education, Harris added. All gifts and pledges designated for college and department discretionary funds also support students and their education by enabling departments to meet urgent needs or supplement academic offerings.

Giving has also been consistently strong for student support programs like the Renaissance Scholars Program, which provides financial aid for students who have been in foster care; and for faculty excellence endowments, which create teaching and research opportunities.

About $5 million, or 81 percent of total gifts and private grants, came from corporations and foundations. According to Mike Tomasello, director of corporate and foundation relations, many were in support of CSUEB’s initiatives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, including grants from the Bayer USA Foundation, Wareham Development and the Hearst Foundation to establish a Center for STEM Education at CSUEB. Stephanie Couch was appointed the Bayer Interim Director of the center in September (read the article).

In addition, the Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation committed $1.45 million to expand the university’s Mathematics Achievement Academies into Contra Costa County beginning in the summer of 2012.

“STEM skills are critical for the region’s workforce, so that’s an area of importance for our corporate partners as employers,” Tomasello said. “We all want to see Cal State East Bay students be ready to succeed in college and in jobs.”

Among other major gifts, the Gateways P-20 partnership, a regional “cradle to career education and workforce” alliance convened by CSUEB, received a $1.15 million grant from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation in April. The partnership launched in 2009 with a grant from the Living Cities consortium and also received $75,000 in continuation funding this year to transition to “Phase II.”

The goal of the Gateways partnership is to improve student success in K-12 schools, with an emphasis on math and science, in order to develop a more robust pipeline of students and graduates to fill the workforce needs of the region.

The $6.1 million total reflects only private support and so does not reflect the complete amount of external grants and support received by the university in 2010-11. Faculty and administrators also secured awards for research and other projects from public agencies.

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