CSUN Receives Heart of the Valley Award for Community Involvement

  • Robert Gunsalus (center), CSUN vice president of University Advancement and president of the CSUN Foundation, accepts the Heart of the Valley Award from Beverly White (left) of NBC4 Southern California, and Jenny Daniels Freese (right), president of the AFP Greater San Fernando Valley Chapter.

California State University, Northridge is all about heart: It’s located at the heart of the San Fernando Valley, and its nearly 4,000 faculty and staff, 40,000 students and 350,000 alumni — most of whom live and work in Southern California — lift the Valley’s communities, organizations, culture and economy. The university is a model of diversity, and it serves more students on Pell grants than any other California public university.

To recognize the impact CSUN has had on the Valley’s 1.8 million residents, the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater San Fernando Valley Chapter (AFP-GSFVC) honored CSUN with a Heart of the Valley Award at its Nov. 15 National Philanthropy Day luncheon event, hosted by Valley Presbyterian Hospital.

The Heart of the Valley Award recognizes individuals, companies, foundations and institutions that “change the world with their giving hearts,” according to the AFP-GSFVC. CSUN engages with Valley communities through a wide range of programs, centers and institutions that provide hands-on educational opportunities for students, as well as important services to the campus and the broader community. Since 1958, CSUN has made a significant economic impact on California, generating nearly $1.9 billion in economic impact and nearly 12,000 jobs each year.

Robert Gunsalus, vice president of University Advancement and president of the CSUN Foundation, was on hand at the luncheon event to accept the award on CSUN’s behalf.

“We are grateful to be a part of the Valley and honored to stand with the other terrific individuals and organizations recognized,” he said. “CSUN, like so many other organizations represented in this room, depends in part upon people having the courage and tenacity to act upon their generous impulses, and volunteer and give. CSUN has a global reach, but the heartbeat of our mission is to be an educational, cultural and economic service to our home community — so receiving the Heart of the Valley Award is exceptionally gratifying.”