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Faculty, Staff and Emeriti Show Campus Support Through 'It's Our University' Fundraising Campaign

April 3, 2013

In 1992, Cal State Fullerton launched a new kind of fundraising campaign, It's Our University (IOU). Instead of external donors, faculty and staff members were encouraged to contribute to a wide range of programs, centers and departments. Today, more than 1,500 faculty, staff and emeriti have contributed to their favorite programs or to the Titan Fund, which supports the university's greatest needs.

Through March 15, faculty and staff members donated more than $105,000. Add emeriti and emeriti associates, and the total swells to $326,000.

"Fundamentally, I believe you do what you can to support the university and the students," said Gordon Bakken, professor of history and a 30-year donor. Over the years, he has supported such programs as Titan Athletics, the History Alumni Association (for scholarships), the Dean's First Book Prize (to encourage new faculty members to publish books), Phi Alpha Theta Fund for Student Research and Creativity (to help with travel expenses to conferences or research sites), and more recently, the Center for Oral and Public History.

"You'll notice I support a lot of programs centered in the History Department," he said. "I think faculty need to recognize that departments gain good reputations through activities such as those mentioned above. I encourage faculty to start giving early in their careers and commit to giving. The money the university receives from faculty, staff and alumni can make a huge difference."

So how do faculty and staff participate in the IOU campaign?

Each year, employees are invited to consider making donations either outright or through payroll deduction to support different programs across campus.

This year, hundreds of opportunities are provided to employees ranging from support for athletics, the Pollak Library, Fullerton Arboretum, music, theatre, scholarships and more. Funding has helped support classroom refurbishment, technology updates, equipment and more. A comprehensive list can be found online.

"What's especially important about the IOU campaign is that it signals to community members and alumni that we are committed to the university and willing to give our own resources to help it achieve its mission," said Michele Cesca, associate vice president of central development. "When faculty and staff donate, not only are their gifts used to fund important needs, but it helps in furthering fundraising efforts."

This year, when employees donate $50 or more through payroll deduction or a one-time gift, they will receive a limited edition messenger bag as a thank-you gift.

"This is a small way for us to acknowledge the generosity of our internal donors," said Todd Frandsen, director of annual giving.

To give through payroll deduction (starting at $10 a month), visit the IOU Campaign website. For one-time gifts, visit

By: Valerie Orleans, 657-278-4540

Tags:  Campus UpdatesTitan Pride