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CSULB Declares a successful campaign

The Declare campaign called on alumni to help raise money for the university.

Nicca Panggat, News Editor

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Despite having four months until the official end date of the campaign, California State University, Long Beach’s Declare campaign has managed to surpass its original fundraising goal by $1.4 million.

The campaign has raised a total of $226.4 million since its launch in fall 2014, flying past its original goal of $225 million, according to university officials.

A multi-million dollar donation toward graduate fellowships in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and an endowed dean’s chair from an anonymous donor pushed Declare to hit its goal, according to a press release.

Declare received over 53,000 donations from first-time donors surpassing its goal of 50,000 gifts and received more than 257,000 donations in total. The fundraising also created 153 new endowments and counted over 600 gifts that exceeded $50,000.

“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,” CSULB President Jane Close Conoley said in a press release Friday. “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 Declare Campaign launched in October 2014 with a focus on “unequaled access, transformation and a greater community” – pillars picked for reflecting the university’s values as a whole, according to the Declare website. This includes the additions of curricular innovations, endowed faculty positions, scholarships, community-outreach initiatives and capital projects.

The university hopes to break ground on several projects with the money raised by Declare, including building a new student success center, Conoley said in a telephone press conference.

CSULB also hopes to raise another $8 million, on top of $4 million already donated by alumni, for a new alumni center, Conoley said.

Likewise, Blair Field needs $5 million more by the campaign’s end date in December in order to kick start renovations for the home of the Dirtbags, Conoley said.

The fundraising from Declare will also help the university make up for fiscal restraints brought on by reduced investment in public higher education in previous years, according to the press release. The extra resources are also helpful in reaching high graduation and retention rates for its students, the release noted.

“We have an increased goal of 700 more students,” Conoley said. “The state budget pays to keep the lights on and pays faculty salaries, but the Declare campaign is really allowing us to make the kind of changes in classrooms, facilities, and support of students… It’s one thing to take more students, but then what do you do once they’re here?”

Declare is a comprehensive and ongoing campaign, according to its website, meaning that it will continue to raise funds in an effort to better help student achievement.

“Though we have exceeded our initial campaign goal, our work at The Beach is just beginning,” Conoley said in a press release. “Declare is still ongoing and we will continue to foster and expand a culture of giving to ensure that future students have the opportunity for a high-quality CSULB education.”

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