Photo collage of a student looking through a telescope and nursing students with a teacher practicing with stethoscopes.

Declare the Goal, Not the Finish Line

Gifts large and small contribute to transforming the university and enhancing student success.

Portrait of Russ LesserRuss Lesser, ’64, B.S., Accountancy | As president of Body Glove International, Lesser has helped grow the firm into one of the world’s most respected watersports brands. Lesser continues to support his alma mater financially and by donating wetsuits and equipment to the marine biology program.

Portrait of Dr. Matthew and Roberta Jenkins
Dr. Matthew and Roberta Jenkins | The Jenkinses generously support CSULB through their family foundation, which provides scholarships and support for students across the nation. Roberta is a member of the CSULB 49er Foundation Board of Directors which advocates for philanthropy and manages donations that benefit CSULB.

Tens of thousands of donors stepped up to declare their support for CSULB as the DECLARE Campaign ended Dec. 31 with great success.

The campus exceeded its goal of $225 MILLION in August when an anonymous donor provided a multimillion-dollar gift to support graduate fellowships and an endowed dean’s chair for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

“Thanks to the generosity of alumni, supporters and the entire campus community the DECLARE Campaign is transforming our university and enhancing the success of our students,” said CSULB President Jane Close Conoley.

Supporters embraced the campaign’s three pillars of Transformation, Unequaled Access and A Greater Community. DECLARE also surpassed its goal attracting 50,000 new first-time donors. The highest number of gifts came from friends of the university, followed by alumni and parents. A variety of businesses, foundations and other organizations also contributed.

For instance, alumnus and long-time educator Ruben Ingram and his wife, Marjorie, created an endowed scholarship to help students like Brian A. Thomas, who’s completing his Ed.D. in educational leadership.

Donations benefit students, faculty and community activities. The Beach received multiple gifts of $5 MILLION or more, more than 60 gifts of $1 MILLION-PLUS, and hundreds of donations of at least $50,000.

But the university’s needs are ongoing.

“Though we have exceeded our initial campaign goal, our work at The Beach is just beginning” added Conoley. “We will need to build on the momentum established by DECLARE and focus on fostering a culture of giving on our campus to ensure that future students have the opportunity for a high-quality CSULB education.”

“Knowing that my gift will contribute to long-term endeavors to create a more math- and science-literate society is a source of particular satisfaction to me.”

-Anonymous donor

“Before becoming an assistant vice president in student affairs, I served as the university’s bursar for 15 years. As you can imagine, I heard a lot of stories during that time…sad situations and circumstances involving students. Supporting the Campaign for CSULB is another way to make a difference in the lives of our students and add to the legacy of this institution and our careers.”

-Nancy Eckhous, assistant vice president, Administrative Systems and Services, Division of Student Affairs

“This scholarship allowed me to remain debt-free, something for which I am very grateful.”

– Yesenia Morales, international business major, Port of Long Beach Scholarship recipient