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A Gift From the Heart: Alumni Establish Endowment Fund to Support International Education

Advance Beauty College Leaders Tâm and Linh Nguyễn Honor Late Father
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In the Vietnamese language, the name “Tâm” means “heart.” Much like his name, Minh Tâm Nguyễn led his family, business and community with his heart.

To honor their late father, Cal State Fullerton alumni and Advance Beauty College leaders Tâm and Linh Nguyễn established the Minh Tâm Nguyễn Endowment Fund for International Education at Cal State Fullerton. The new fund will benefit students who want to study abroad as well as international students who want to pursue an education at CSUF.

“Our father was the patriarch of our family, an educator, the founder of Advance Beauty College and a leader in the Vietnamese community,” said Tâm ’05 (MBA), chairman of Advance Beauty College. “He took pride in his children being graduates of Cal State Fullerton, and he had the opportunity to meet every president from President Gordon to President Virjee.”

Both Tâm and Linh are alumni of CSUF’s College of Business and Economics, with Tâm currently serving as chair of the Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation board of governors and Linh serving on the dean’s advisory board for CBE. They also are supporters of the university’s Center for Family Business and the Giles-O’Malley Center for Leadership.

“As a family, we believe in education,” said Linh ’98, ’17 (B.A. business administration-management, MBA), president of Advance Beauty College. “This fund will help keep my father’s legacy alive, and allow students to experience the meaningful educational opportunities we had ourselves at CSUF.”

Partnering With Diverse Communities

Throughout the years, Cal State Fullerton has had a deep engagement with Orange County’s Little Saigon, the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. The university has supported critical mental health and historical research, promoted the teaching and learning of Asian languages, and forged educational partnership between the two countries.

As Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation board chair, Tâm builds and strengthens relationships with a variety of communities to encourage investment in and support of students.

“My dad and our family are great believers in accessibility, quality education and opportunities,” said Tâm. “Linh and I continue to believe in our father’s work and want to provide opportunities to support students, and in particular, international education.”

Debra Leahy, dean of extension and associate vice president for international programs, explained that the Nguyễn family’s gift will help students broaden their global perspectives and better prepare them for today’s workforce.

“The Nguyễn family are supporters of our international students and bring the heart, vision and deep conviction for how global learning transforms the minds and lives of students,” said Leahy. “The students who benefit from their generous gift will have their lives changed in many ways.”

Greg Saks, vice president for university advancement, described Tâm and Linh’s father as “a remarkable man” with a legacy extending from a military leader in Vietnam to an educational leader in Orange County. 

“Tâm and Linh are following in their father’s footsteps — leading their family business and having a positive impact on just about every area of Cal State Fullerton’s campus,” said Saks. “I know their father would have been proud of the work they’re doing today as alumni and community leaders.”

Choosing a Titan Education

Nguyen Family
Tâm, Minh, Linh and Kiên Nguyễn

With its notable business school, affordability and flexibility in allowing her to work at her family business while pursuing her education, Linh chose to attend CSUF for her undergraduate degree. When she decided to pursue an MBA, Linh chose Cal State Fullerton again. 

“In addition to my incredible undergraduate experience, I really appreciated coming back to CSUF as an adult. The program helped me learn what’s new and grow as a business leader,” said Linh, who now mentors students through the Executive in Residence program.

While students, Tâm and Linh had opportunities to study internationally — Tâm studied in England, France, Germany and Vietnam, and Linh studied in Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam. Tâm and his wife, Christine, have also served as a host family for numerous international students.

Today, Tâm and Linh lead Advance Beauty College, founded by their father in 1987 to provide quality vocational education in Orange County.

“Our father was bicultural, bilingual and a true global citizen,” shared Tâm. “Our family business has also been deeply committed to serving diverse communities for over 40 years.”

Linh’s daughter, Cara Nguyễn, also chose to become a Titan and is finishing her first semester as a student in the Business Honors Program

“It was her No. 1 school,” said Linh. “She’s already had such a positive experience at Cal State Fullerton. It’s not just us telling her it’s a great school — she’s seeing it herself.”

To contribute to the Minh Tâm Nguyễn Endowment Fund for International Education, visit:

Lynn Juliano