“Way to go Matadors!” was the enthusiastic response of California State University, Northridge President Dianne F. Harrison when seeing the final report on alumni giving for the 2014-15 school year. With 10,643 alumni donors, CSUN blew past the previous record set just last year of 4,809. When all donors – including alumni and friends of the university – are taken into account, the total for this year is also a record of 15,526, surpassing the previous record of 8,368, which was also set just last year.
President Harrison said, “I am so grateful to the thousands of donors who made a gift last year, not only for their generosity, but also because their gifts affirm the tremendous work of our faculty and staff, and also signifies a shared belief that our students will go on to lift our region and beyond.”
As Chair of the CSUN Foundation Board, Earl Enzer ’83 (Finance) heads a group of leading alumni and community volunteers who oversee the management of the university’s philanthropic assets and encourage people to invest in the university.
Enzer stated that, “The growth in the number of people supporting the university is a great sign of momentum, one of many across campus.”
As a civically active executive with a globe-leading financial services firm and a CSUN alumnus, Enzer has a deep understanding of the role CSUN plays in the region.
“Philanthropic support is an increasingly important part of CSUN’s quality and service to the region,” he said. “As happy as I am with the growth in giving, the opportunities for CSUN to have an even greater impact are a compelling reason for all alumni and engaged Angelenos to support the university.”
Carlos Fuentes ’82 (Political Science), President of the CSUN Alumni Association added, “I couldn’t be more proud of my fellow alumni and my alma mater. Let’s keep rolling Matadors!”
“With more than 40,000 students, many of whom come from low-income families, and with the drop in state support over the years, contributions from alumni are essential,” Fuentes said. “The people at CSUN had such a huge impact on my life, at such a critical time in my life, that the desire to give back just comes naturally.”
New alumni played a large part in raising the giving numbers, as a great number of graduating seniors participated in a senior class gift to CSUN. Along with incorporating a culture of giving among recent graduates, major grant-funding organizations look at the percentage of alumni who make a gift each year as a factor in their funding decisions.
In addition to the growth in the number of donors, the overall level of gift commitments has also grown significantly to $19.5 million; an 82 percent increase over the $10.7 million recorded in the 2010-11 fiscal year.
In describing the factors that have led to the increases, Vice President for Advancement Rob Gunsalus said, “There are so many ingredients; a noble mission, generous alumni and friends, active volunteers, strong campus leadership, stellar faculty, hard-working staff and aspiring students.” He went on to say, “I think the university is also doing a better job of telling the many uplifting stories from across Matador nation, and people are inspired.”
Gunsalus was quick to add with a smile, “Don’t forget to tell everyone that they can make a gift online at www.csun.edu/giving.”