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California State University, Long Beach
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By Anne Ambrose

Although Jean Houck retired as dean of the College of Education in 2008, her heart remains with Cal State Long Beach.

With nearly 20 years of campus service, Houck continues half time as a professor in the Department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling through the Faculty Early Retirement Program. “I teach a 300-level course, ‘Child Development and Learning,’ where I have 45 students, most of whom are going to be elementary and secondary teachers. The class is interesting, and I enjoy teaching it.” She also remains involved with a variety of area educational projects supporting the Long Beach Education Partnership and the Long Beach College Promise.

But Houck’s commitment to her college goes beyond her work there.

Several years ago, she and her husband, Jack, established a scholarship fund, and recently, she became a member of the Cal State Long Beach Legacy Society by establishing a bequest in her estate. 

“I designated my gift for the College of Education because that’s my home program, and also my whole career and background is in the preparation of teachers and other school professionals,” she said. As dean, she sometimes had to decline worthwhile proposals for college activities and purchases for lack of funding, so she designated a general gift that can be used for discretionary purposes.

She noted that donors usually designate their gifts for specific purposes. “We do a scholarship each year in memory of my husband’s parents, but in addition, I thought it would be nice if, with the other bequest, the college could have the decision on where it was needed most.”

Donor support is important for the College of Education. For example, scholarships can help student teachers who must work at their schools full-time for a semester or more, leaving little opportunity for outside employment. Meanwhile, faculty in programs such as Educational Technology or the Library Media credential need to keep current with hardware and software, and faculty in all programs benefit from attending and presenting at conferences. 

Jean Houck

"I was thinking how, as an administrator and a faculty member at the university, I have so many friends and acquaintances that have made donations to the university and they’re just so generous,” Houck said. “I’ve been so grateful for their generosity that I thought I should be able to do that, too, and give back the way so many of those others have.” She praised the college’s supporters as “models for the rest of us.”

To learn more about the CSULB Legacy Society and other planned giving opportunities, contact the Office of Gift Planning at 562/985-5489,, or visit