CSUN Alumni and Friends Set New Giving Record

  • CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison (left) celebrated with Younes (center) and Soraya (right) Nazarian on the occasion of their gift to rename CSUN's performing arts center, part of the major transformational support the university received during the previous fiscal year.

Philanthropic support for California State University, Northridge and its students reached new heights in 2017-2018, with total gift commitments of $31.7 million — a record for the university. The total number of alumni and individual donors remained consistently high, at 10,940 and 16,053, respectively.

These numbers point to a trend of increasing overall giving to the university over the past several years, which allows CSUN to offer more student scholarships, support for academic and research programs and community services:

  • Between 2013 and 2018, the average annual giving was $22.8 million per year compared to $12.7 million in annual giving between 2007 and 2012 — an increase of 80 percent.
  • During the last four years, (2014-2018) CSUN has had more than 15,000 donors in each year. Prior to this period, the university had never had more than 8,000 donors in a single year.

“The extraordinary generosity and passion of our alumni and friends has had a direct impact on the success of current and future CSUN students,” said CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison. “These funds enable our campus to offer services and educational programs that foster degree completion, enrich the student experience and prepare the workforce of tomorrow.”

CSUN alumnus Bob Myman (Political Science), chairman of the CSUN Foundation Board, noted the rise of support for CSUN. “It’s exciting to consider the future of the university and its impact on local and global communities and economies,” he said. “This growing support from Matadors of all ages, across the country increases not only the actual value of the education at CSUN, but also the inherent value of the CSUN degree.”

The momentum with giving continued over the summer and into the start of the new school year with several generous gifts, including an $800,000 pledge commitment from Drs. Jasvant and Meera Modi to support the Bhagvan Ajitnath Endowed Professorship in Jain Studies in the Department of Religious Studies; a $100,000 pledge commitment from Mr. Bryan A. Green ’94 (Marketing) and Mrs. Jennifer Green for the Bryan Alexander Green Endowment in the Division of Student Affairs for the benefit of the University Student Union; and a $1.5 million gift from the Easton Foundations for the creation of an endowment for faculty in CSUN’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and to bolster resources for the Olympic-style sport of archery on campus.

“I feel fortunate that I not only had such a positive experience on campus, but that I can remain connected to the university through my gift,” said Green. “To play a role in the creation and evolution of the Student Recreation Center is very rewarding, and remains a stimulus for my greater connection with the university.”

Support for innovation and entrepreneurship on campus has also grown this year. CSUN’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics was the first business school to qualify for the Alexa Innovation Fellowship, which aims to help support on-campus entrepreneurial programs through funding, Alexa devices, hardware kits and regular training. These resources are expected to be used for student scholarship and to further support innovation programs, operating costs and sponsorships.

Product prototype software maker Autodesk, through its president and CEO Andrew Anagnost ’87 (Engineering), made a gift of $75,000 to jump-start planning for a new collaborative creation space on campus that can be used by students from a variety of disciplines, as well as by community members. The proposed center would create a single, comprehensive space for their implementation, with enough room for and a work­flow that encourages open team discussions among students from different disciplines during the design, prototype manufacturing and testing processes.

“The growing investments being made by alumni, friends and organizations not only have a tangible impact on students and the community we serve,” said Robert D. Gunsalus, CSUN Vice President for University Advancement and President of the CSUN Foundation, “they also burnish the reputation of the university and inspire others to follow their lead.”