For years, SDSU biology professor Annalisa Berta made an annual gift to SDSU to support student scholarships. But as the university geared up to launch The Campaign for SDSU in 2007, Berta felt it was time to reconsider her commitment.
“The comprehensive campaign was the impetus to think of a longer-term, lasting gift,” she said.
Honoring her life’s work and that of her colleagues and students, Berta made a planned gift of more than $150,000 to strengthen science education and research through support for scholarships, international collaboration and the biology department’s Museum of Biodiversity.
Pillars of the campaign
Aztec faculty and staff are pillars of The Campaign for SDSU. Together they have contributed more than $35 million, about 10 percent of the total campaign funds raised through December 2012.
Several faculty and staff have contributed upward of $500,000 in support of SDSU’s people and programs, including:
• Gordon Shackelford, emeritus physics professor and former associate dean in the College of Sciences, and Janis Shackelford, retired research staff in biology and chemistry, with a legacy gift for the College of Sciences and the Guardian Scholars program;
• Carey Wall, emeritus professor and department chair of English, and Terry O’Donnell, emeritus professor of music and department chair of music and dance, to the MFA program in musical theatre;
• Glen Broom, emeritus professor of journalism and media studies, and Betty Broom, emeritus associate professor of nursing, to establish the Glen Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations;
• Bonnie Zimmerman, retired professor of women’s studies and associate vice president for Faculty Affairs, with a legacy gift to the Department of Women’s Studies and the College of Arts and Letters;
• Lawrence Willens, retired lecturer and current volunteer men’s tennis coach, with more than $2 million in gifts and pledges to Aztec Athletics during The Campaign for SDSU.
Motivated to give
Because not all faculty and staff can give at the highest levels, many support the campaign with smaller annual gifts.
Kevin Decker, a prospect researcher with University Relations and Development, invests in a general scholarship fund to support the SDSU pep and marching bands, of which he was a member during his student days.
Martha McPhail, a retired bibliographer with the SDSU Library, supports her broad interests on campus, including Latin American studies and scholarships for student-athletes and women’s studies majors.
Retired faculty and staff have a tradition of combining their gifts to award several scholarships each year from the SDSU Retirement Association. The scholarships are available to qualified students with a family member working at or retired from SDSU.
Worthy of investment
As The Campaign for SDSU approaches $400 million in total support, gifts from staff and faculty are crucial in helping the university reach its $500-million goal.
More than a monetary contribution, these faculty and staff gifts indicate a deep commitment to the university’s future, said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman.
“By contributing to The Campaign for SDSU, faculty and staff are sending a clear signal that our work here is important and worthy of investment.”