Officials at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) announced today that the university had surpassed its goal of raising $225 million with its Declare Campaign, raising a total of $226.4 million.
According to CSULB President Jane Close Conoley, a recent $4 million gift to the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics by an anonymous donor, meant to support graduate fellowships and an endowed dean’s chair, pushed the campaign fundraising efforts past its goal.
Close Conoley said the university was “excited” and happy “to celebrate” the results of the campaign, as such funding is “really important to the long-term viability of the university.”
“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 Close Conoley in a statement. “Gifts both large and small have led to this accomplishment, and I’m excited that The Beach community has embraced a new culture of philanthropy that will directly benefit students.”
The campaign was created as a response to fiscal constraints brought on by reduced investment in higher education, according to the release. Its focus was on unequaled access, transformation and a greater community, with the plan to increase scholarships and services, supporting research and renovating facilities.
Such facilities include building a new student success center, renovating specific halls, and upgrading Blair Field. An alumni hall is in the works by popular demand, Close Conoley said, but another $8 million is needed to begin construction on such a facility, which would be located near the pyramid on the CSULB campus.
Close Conoley said the funding will allow more students to enroll at the university. The university enrolled a record 37,500 full-time students for the fall of 2015, but the funding would allow them to increase their enrollment by 700 new students for next year.
Beyond that, Close Conoley said the funding would allow more groups to travel and create service-oriented projects abroad, using the example of a group from CSULB that went to South East Asia this year to do just that.
“The Declare Campaign helps us set them up for exceptional experiences,” Close Conley said.
The university also surpassed its goal of increasing the number of first-time donors, to 50,000, generating gifts from a total of 53,799 new donors. The campaign created 135 endowments, had 603 donations that exceeded $50,000, and drew from 257,000 total gifts.
Close Conoley said this year’s campaign will continue for the next few months, but alumni should expect new campaigns with a different focus in the future, under new names.
The president said the campaign comes down to helping the students. “How do you offer them something high-quality without state funding?” she said.