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$1.6M in New Gifts

Six gifts were announced at the campaign's start, including $100K from President and Jeri Hirshman.
Elliot and Jeri Hirshman
Elliot and Jeri Hirshman

San Diego State University kicked off its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign by announcing $1.6 million in new gifts.

To date, the campaign has raised more than $271 million toward its $500 million goal.

The “public phase” of the Campaign for SDSU officially launched at a Sept. 16 event at Viejas Arena.

President Elliot Hirshman announced the six gifts, all of which will support important programs and people at SDSU. But, one gift had personal meaning for the president, who started earlier this summer — a personal contribution of $100,000 from him and his wife Jeri.

Supporting extraordinary students

“The Campaign for SDSU is for our extraordinary students, who will be the future leaders of San Diego and our nation. It’s for students from diverse backgrounds. For students who face financial challenges, and for students with special artistic, academic and athletic gifts,” Hirshman said. 

“The campaign is also for our faculty and staff members who are educating that next generation of leaders, those who are carrying out the cutting-edge research, advancing the arts and humanities, and addressing pressing social problems. And it’s for the faculty and staff who are building those relationships with the community that we value so highly.”

Important gifts

The other gifts announced at the event include:

  • $100,000 from Charles and Chinyeh Hostler for fellowships in the College of Arts and Letters
  • $100,000 from Steve Cushman for the College of Business Administration
  • $300,000 anonymous gift for scholarships for Guardian Scholars
  • $500,000 from Irwin Zahn for entrepreneurship in engineering
  • $500,000 from Sharp Healthcare for scholarships in the Sharp HealthCare Professional Education and Research Institute


The Campaign for SDSU is the first university-wide fundraising campaign in SDSU history. It includes all of SDSU’s colleges, SDSU Athletics and KPBS.

“We believe leadership starts here at San Diego State,” Campanile Foundation chair Kit Sickels said to the crowd.

“And, with your support, our students, our faculty and our staff will provide the best and brightest to the region and beyond.”

About the Campaign for SDSU

Funding raised by the university will help attract and retain top faculty, support innovative programs and assist talented students through scholarships, as well as move the university forward with strategic investments in people and programs.

For more information about the Campaign for SDSU, visit the website.

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