More Than 40 Years Later, One Couple’s Bond to CSUN and Each Other Remains Strong

  • Stan and Phyllis Gilson, who met as students in the late 1960s, have held a strong bond with CSUN and their respective Greek organizations. Photo provided by the Gilsons.

Stan and Phyllis Gilson have now been married for 43 years. Stan ’70 (Political Science) met Phyllis ’70 (Political Science), ’75 (Urban Studies), M.A. ’82 (Administration Supervision), at a fraternity party in the late 1960s. Stan was in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, while Phyllis was in the sorority Alpha Omicron Pi.

After graduation, Stan went on to become a lawyer and eventually retired in 2007. However, Phyllis’ time at CSUN was just getting started. Beyond her academic connection to CSUN, she worked in the Office of Admissions and Records for 39 years.

Because of their deep bond with CSUN, the Gilsons have given back to the university that changed their lives. They made a planned gift that will provide scholarships to students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and their funds will also benefit the Division of Student Affairs.

“The planned gift is simply the latest way that this wonderful couple has given back to CSUN,” said William Watkins, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. “[The Gilsons] have long been active in supporting our Greek Life system by providing coaching and advisement to hundreds of students who have turned to them for guidance on how to demonstrate leadership and service on and off campus. Their gift is yet another way they have stood tall as proud Matadors.”

Being in Greek organizations had a big impact on the couple. To this day they do volunteer work for Phi Delta Theta and Alpha Omicron Pi. Stan is the chapter advisory board chairman for Phi Delta Theta, while Phyllis oversees Alpha Omicron Pi alumni chapters in Northern California.

Phyllis’ long-lasting connection to CSUN began as an undergraduate assistant for the Office of Admissions and Records. After graduation, she was offered a full-time job.

Phyllis continued working for the university for nearly four decades before retiring in 2010. During that time she was in charge of veteran affairs and was a representative for the NCAA, overseeing student athletic grades and academics. Phyllis and Stan now live in Canoga Park.

“I think a lot of schools take their graduates for granted because of their age or prestige,” Stan said. “I don’t see that at CSUN. There’s a genuine concern about people and we look forward to the events on campus.”

The couple still comes to campus regularly for athletic and alumni events, and plan to stay actively involved with the university that gave them love, friends and much more.

“CSUN is the place I spent years of my life — it’s like a second home to me,” Phyllis said. “The campus is a great place for people to make a foundation for the rest of their lives in education and employment.”

To learn more about Planned Giving, go to or call (818) 677-2136.

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