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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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The SDSU women's soccer team huddles together before a game. (Photo: Ernie Anderson) The SDSU women's soccer team huddles together before a game. (Photo: Ernie Anderson)

Family Pride

SDSU faculty and staff talk about why they give.
By Coleen L. Geraghty

This story appears in the spring 2017 issue of 360: The Magazine of San Diego State University.

San Diego State faculty and staff have collectively contributed more than $80 million or about 10 percent of total fundraising to The Campaign for SDSU. They give for a whole host of reasons, but the underlying factors are pride in the institution and gratitude for their SDSU experiences. 360 Magazine asked some of the people who know SDSU best to explain their philanthropic motivations.

Carey Wall
is a professor emerita of English and comparative literature specializing in American literature. She taught for 37 years and was department chair for 12 years.

Why she gives:
Spring 2017 issue of 360: The Magazine of San Diego State University
Fall 2017 Cover of 360: The Magazine of San Diego State University
"I spent a very large portion of my life at SDSU in very pleasurable work. Having been educated at the University of Michigan and Stanford with their dimensions of financial support, I’ve always known SDSU needed money and I saw the state support for higher education dwindle over the years. The musical theatre faculty impressed me with their ability to transform their graduate students during the two-year master of fine arts (MFA) program. I had been planning to make a large gift, when I learned that the program was threatened with termination. Dr. (Terry) O’Donnell and I joined forces to create the Wall-O’Donnell Musical Theatre Professorship. It was a gratifying and exciting donation opportunity."

Terry O’Donnell (’66, ’72), is professor emeritus and a founding member of the MFA program in musical theatre. Since 1963, he has served as University Carillonneur for the bell installation housed in Hardy Memorial Tower.

Why he gives:
"Since 1962, I have witnessed the positive effects of SDSU’s institutional support to encourage innovative curriculum development, create student learning opportunities and explore positive community relationships. The unique MFA curriculum was created to foster the artist-scholar model. SDSU’s MFA graduates are the future faculty who will educate the next generation of musical theatre performers and honor the legacy of the musical theatre art form in America. My enduring support of this program is inspired by the passion, enthusiasm and successes of our students and by a desire to honor the professional commitment of our faculty."

Tammy Blackburn (’94, ’01), is director of development technology for SDSU Alumni. As a four-year starting guard for Aztec women’s basketball beginning in the 1990s, she led her team to two NCAA appearances and two regular season and conference championships.

Why she gives:
"Unless you live the life of a student-athlete, it’s hard to understand how that affects your growth and development. I remember every time I walked into the locker room and put on Aztec gear, there was this sense of representing a university that had confidence in me. They were giving me the opportunity to not only earn a degree, but also to compete at that level. There’s something special about walking into an arena with 3,500 people cheering for you. You build relationships with the community and the fans, and you build a physical relationship with the university."

Glen and Betty Broom are emeritus faculty, he in the School of Journalism and Media Studies and she in the School of Nursing. Their planned gift supports both schools and establishes the Glen M. Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations.

Why they give:
Glen: "SDSU gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion for advancing the science and practice of public relations. Our gift supports students with professional development opportunities; it supports faculty with funding for research and scholarship; and it supports practitioners with continuing professional development classes and programs."

Betty: "SDSU provided me so many personal and professional growth opportunities. I began as a part-time lecturer in the School of Nursing and eventually pursued my Ph.D. in nursing research. Our planned gift to the School of Nursing will foster tenure-track and tenured faculty research and scholarship."

J. Luke Wood is director of two programs in SDSU’s College of Education: the Ed.D. doctoral program in community college leadership and the joint Ph.D. program in education with Claremont Graduate University. He joined SDSU in 2011.

Why he gives:
"Numerous people from the local community and our alumni have given to SDSU in support of our mission and strategic plan. As a faculty member, I consider myself an ambassador of the institution to the local community and to my field, and I felt that I should do the same. My gift is a collaborative gift with Frank Harris III (professor of postsecondary education and co-director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab at SDSU). It supports our graduate students, who are doing groundbreaking work in the study of equity issues and student success in community colleges."