CSUSM celebrates campaign completion


Photo Courtesy of Andrew Reed via Communications

Citlally Arroyo, News Editor

After seven years, CSUSM, the youngest university in the 23-campus California State University  (CSU) system, surpassed its goal of $50 million for its first comprehensive fundraising campaign called Forward Together.


On Thursday, Feb. 7, students, faculty and staff gathered outside in the Kellogg Plaza for the announcement of the campaign’s final total. CSUSM’s dance and cheer teams held up large signs revealing the final total of $55,035,210 raised with the help of donors and the campus community.  


According to the Forward Together website, “more than $55 million was raised during the seven years of the campaign compared to $50.8 million raised in the first 21 years after the university’s founding” and had a total of 9,290 donors.


CSUSM launched Forward Together in 2012 and was publicly announced in 2015 when the campaign had already raised $26 million, more than halfway past its goal.


The campaign was built around three pillars focusing on CSUSM’s commitment to “preparing tomorrow’s leaders,” “building great communities” and “solving critical issues.” Each pillar had a different financial goal and focused on different student needs and growth.


CSUSM President Karen Haynes, CSUSM Foundation Board Chair Jack Raymond and ASI President Savana Doudar spoke about the campaign’s success before revealing the final total to the campus community during the celebration.


Doudar said that she was proud of the student involvement throughout the campaign.

“I’m proud to say that my fellow students didn’t simply sit on the sidelines during this historic campaign. We were deeply invested every step of the way,” she said.


She said that since 2011, CSUSM Student Philanthropy has worked to build a culture of giving among students and worked to raise funds for the Student Philanthropy Endowed Scholarship.


According to Doudar, last year about 600 students made a gift, raising more than $14,000.

Raymond, a businessman and philanthropist who has been helping students at CSUSM since the university’s founding, addressed the impact of Forward Together.


According to Raymond, Forward Together helped launch a new engineering program, helped build and expand a center for veteran students and their families and helped create a space for former foster youth, among many other accomplishments.


In February 2015, the Jan and Esther Stearns Center for ACE Scholars Services opened with a $1 million gift from the Stearns, which was able to support former foster youth at CSUSM, according to the Forward Together website.


Raymond also said that although many people played an important role in the campaign’s success he was especially grateful for President Haynes’ guidance.  


“She is a firm believer in the power of education to transform lives, and she works tirelessly to ensure that all students of our region have every opportunity to attend college,” he said.


Haynes, CSUSM’s longest serving president, said that “no other university in the CSU, and likely in the entire nation, had undertaken a campaign of this magnitude at such a young age.” At the time of the campaign’s public launch, CSUSM was celebrating its 25th anniversary.


“Some may have doubted our ability to achieve such a bold goal, but not me,” said Haynes.  


Haynes said that Forward Together was critical for the university’s continued growth and that it was critical to overcome uncertainty surrounding public funding for higher education.


“I am grateful for all of you being part of this historic campaign, believing that this goal was attainable and for being with us today at this monumental announcement. With deepest gratitude and on behalf of our entire university community, I thank you.”


For more information about the campaign visit the Forward Together website at www.csusm.edu/forwardtogether.